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Relations with PCO 'have got worse'

Most GPs are on track to achieve their quality framework aspirations. But many believe they will have trouble proving their claims and are scornful of the supposed 'high trust' monitoring regime.

Pulse's survey also reveals a high degree of scepticism among GPs as to whether the introduction of the quality framework had improved the standard of the care they gave.

Of the 1,110 respondents, two-thirds said they expected to achieve at least the points score they aspired to. Rural, larger and PMS practices were most confident. Fewer singlehanders (55 per cent) thought they would hit their target.

But 37 per cent of GPs, and almost half of one- and two-partner practices, felt they would have difficulty proving their achievement.

Dr Alastair Mackereth said his practice in Oswestry, Shropshire, had aspired to 900 points but would get 950. But he said the system was 'desperately bureaucratic'. He said: 'We're having to concentrate on the small targets set by the Government, and we're losing sight of the patients as a whole.'

A total of 53 per cent of GPs said striving to earn quality points was not improving their standard of care.

Dr Cheryl Atter, a GP at a four-partner PMS practice in Gloucester, said collecting huge amounts of data to hit quality targets was 'wrecking my job'. She added: 'I'd rather do the job I initially joined, and do without the extra money.'

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