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Negotiators 'missed chance to sway GPs'

GP negotiators have made a major error by failing to design the ready reckoner so GPs can work out how much their net profit will increase under the contract, medical accountants have claimed.

The ready reckoner only

allows GPs to calculate their practice's gross income and does not account for expenses.

David Clough, chair of the Association of Independent Specialist Medical Accountants (Aisma), said GPs were most keen to know how much their net profit would increase.

The association has written to the GPC claiming problems with the ready reckoner and the Carr-Hill formula could have been avoided if medical accountants had been involved sooner.

Mike Gilbert, former chair of the association, said the ready reckoner should also have allowed GPs to put in a year-on-year increase in the number of quality points they thought they could achieve. He added the minimum

practice income guarantee (MPIG) was flawed because it would be based on 2002/3 accounts.

He said: 'What happens if 2002/3 is a poor year for

practice staff reimbursement? What if it comes in below 70 per cent? Or if you have since picked up 1,000 patients?'

But despite the problems, Mr Gilbert, partner at accountants RMT, added GPs would be shooting themselves in the foot if they voted No to the deal.

'One simple fact is that £8 billion is being pumped into primary care. GPs will get some of that. There's no doubt about that in my mind. All practices will be better off,' he said.

'The advice we have to give our clients from a financial point of view is they must vote Yes. It's absolutely conclusive,' he said.

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