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Nursing home weighting to go

Nursing homes

GPs with large numbers of elderly and infirm patients will lose out under the new formula, which no longer takes into account nursing or residential home status.

The formula review group appeared to see practices that work with nursing homes as among those who are 'overpaid' in the current deal.

But the move has provoked consternation among experts in elderly care, who warned nursing home work was onerous and underpaid.

Nursing and residential home status is one of four adjustments for practice workload in the current formula, but the group claimed there was 'double counting'.

It said: 'The impact of nursing and residential homes on workload is currently included directly. But it is also included indirectly in the age-sex adjustment.'

Researchers commissioned by the group were unable to define which patients were living in nursing homes and the formula group said there would be a 'negligible effect' from removing the current adjustment.

But GPs believe the move is a retrograde step.

Dr Peter Calveley, a director at UK nursing homes group Four Seasons and a GP in Lincoln, said: 'There isn't much incentive for GPs to take on residential and nursing homes at the moment and I would have liked to see something to make it a more attractive prospect.'

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