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'Practice profits set to rise 20% in next financial year'

GPs' practice profits will rise by up to 20 per cent in the next financial year, medical accountants predict.

The early calculations are a boost to GPs who had feared ­ after getting their indicative budgets for next year ­ that their promised pay rise would not materialise.

Many GPs were shocked

after being told they needed a large correction factor to maintain Red Book income.

But accountants said income for all types of practice would rise between 6 and 23 per cent.

The forecasts came as GPC joint-deputy chair Dr Simon Fradd stood by his predictions that GPs would see a near-50 per cent pay rise over three years.

Dr Fradd said he expected a personal pay rise of 20 per cent in the year to March 2005 and 45 per cent in the first two years of the contract, assuming his practice achieved 750 quality points and gave staff a 'generous' pay rise.

'Working on historic spend and anticipating 750 points, I think my personal pay will have risen by around 50 per cent by the end of 2004/5,' he said.

Richard Vickery at accountants PKF in Guildford, Surrey, said 10 practices that had predicted between 562 and 1,000 quality points showed an increase in income of between 12 and 23 per cent.

Rosemary Smith, GP liaison manager with accountants Sandison Easson in Wilmslow, Cheshire, predicted partners at two large practices in the region would get a £12,000 pay rise based on an 18 per cent increase in practice profits.

Accountants said predictions for future years would depend on rises in practice expenses.

Some also said they were unable to predict profit rises because GPs had been given wrong or incomplete data.

David Hubbard, accountant with Griffin Chapman in Colchester, Essex, said: 'Information provided by some PCTs has been completely

inadequate and too spurious.'

By Ian Cameron

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