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Rural GPs fear future as inner-city colleagues get boost

The financial future of thousands of rural practices has been left uncertain by the proposed changes to the global sum formula.

The planned formula may or not continue to make allowances for practices in rural or remote areas.

The formula review group said rurality might only 'possibly' be included in the revised calculations – and could be dropped outright.

Rural GPs condemned the proposal, which they said did not take into account their

extra costs.

The group questioned the

validity of the last formula's analysis and expressed concerns that the current rural allowance was not well targeted.

'We were unable to recommend if a rurality adjustment should be included due to a lack of evidence,' it concluded.

Dr Ian Greaves, a GP in Gnosall, Staffordshire, where 40 per cent of patients qualify for rural allowance, said the proposed changes were the 'nail in the coffin'.

He asked: 'Why are they giving up on the rural allowance? On what evidence are they giving it up?'.

Dr Beryl Duncan, a rural dispensing GP in Terrington St Clement in Norfolk, said she had to work harder than urban GPs to achieve the same results.

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