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The key players' views on the contract sticking points

With the GPC preparing to make a final decision this week on whether to ballot GPs on the contract, negotiators still have a long way to go to hammer out a deal on the make-or-break issues

On switching from census data to

GPs' registered lists

GP negotiators: Want to keep pay per patient

at £53 and fund switch from elsewhere

in contract.

Dr John Chisholm, GPC chair: 'If we did nothing else the money would fall to £49.85 per patient. We are looking at not making that drop.'

NHS Confederation: Committed in principle to the switch, but will veto demand to divert cash from quality into global sum.

Mike Farrar, lead negotiator: 'We are not prepared to renegotiate a category of the contract to find a solution to the redistribution effect of registered lists that changes the overall balance.'

GPC: Switch must be agreed before ballot can go ahead.

Dr Charles Simenoff, GPC member: 'I want

a signed commitment from Alan Milburn

that GP remuneration will be based on

registered lists.'

Weighting quality pay according to practice disease prevalence

GP negotiators and NHS Confederation: Committed in principle, need to work out feasibility.

Dr John Chisholm: 'Government is prepared to be flexible in moving to a system perceived to be

fairer and based on relative workload as long as it is cost neutral.'

GPC: Deal must be agreed before ballot can go ahead.

Dr Ron Singer, GPC member: 'My minimum requirements would be changing to registered lists, including disease prevalence in quality and de-linking quality from the Carr-Hill formula.'

Ending 100/150 quality point penalty for MPIG practices

GP negotiators: Not seen as a 'must-win'.

NHS Confederation: Not important.

Mike Farrar: 'This would have to be paid for by other GPs. I think a lot of GPs would not support funding a small offset to a particular group of practices.'

GPC: Support end to penalty but not seen as vital.

Dr Rob Barnett, GPC member: 'It is high on my agenda.'

Early review of Carr-Hill formula

GP negotiators and NHS Confederation: Agreed on review in October 2004, likely to commit to inclusion of other factors, such as patients' ethnicity.

GPC: Acceptance that new formula not achievable in two weeks but need commitment to early review.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, GPC member: 'In an ideal situation I would wish not to see a ballot before the revision of Carr-Hill, but we risk losing the implementation because of the legislative timetable.'

Expanding eligibility for seniority pay

GP negotiators and NHS Confederation: Proposals to follow shortly.

More clarification on way ahead for PMS

GP negotiators: Government has to take the lead.

Department of Health: Pledge to allow PMS GPs to compare income with pay under new contract 'soon'.

GPC: Need to stem the flood of GPs into PMS.

Dr Peter Fellows, GPC member: 'If over half of GPs enter PMS the incentive (for the Government) to negotiate for GMS will be lost.'

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