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Pilot gives boost to allocations system

A pilot scheme based on the allocations system proposed in the contract has improved handling of the problem, according to GPs involved.

Under the pilot in Hull and north east Lincolnshire, GPs, the LMC and PCT consult before allocations are made to ensure patients are distributed equitably between GPs rather than on an ad hoc basis.

Practices in the pilot scheme agree to register patients who move into the area, new births and immediate family members.

Practice capacity is regularly reviewed at meetings with the PCT. Any remaining allocations are split between practices in a given area.

Patients with specific health needs are matched to practices with the relevant clinical expertise.

Financial incentives encourage practices to take on patients who might otherwise affect quality or access targets through high workload.

Dr Peter Merton, professional executive chair for the trust, said allocations had been cut from 1,000 to 240 a year. 'We all share responsibility and workload across practices,' he said.

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