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New quality cash could end MPIG

Putting extra cash into the quality framework could be one way of getting rid of the minimum practice income guarantee, the lead negotiator for NHS Employers has speculated.

Dr Barbara Hakin said the Government's determination to end the MPIG, spelled out in the White Paper, would dominate talks with the GPC.

Dr Hakin said money would not properly follow the patient while MPIG remained. Extra funding for GPs, to reduce reliance on the guarantee, was likely to be targeted at quality pay.

'Everybody is committed to reducing health inequalities and with MPIG we will never be able to tackle them as well as we might do. I see us being asked to incentivise health improvement services rather than preventive services. The QOF is the most likely place to do that.'

Dr Hamish Meldrum, GPC chair, said the planned expanding practice allowance could be a solution. Moving to weighted capitation would need 'significant injection of funds'.

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