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Gold, incentives and meh

Time to stop plastering over the cracks

Fears have been voiced that the new pay system for GPs providing enhanced services will be a bureaucratic nightmare. It has also emerged that GP negotiators have failed in their bid to get part of the quality reward money paid in advance to ease practice cash-flow.

These looming problems have an ominous ­ and familiar ­ ring.

GPs' paymasters are bureaucrats. They are unlikely to see it as part of their job to minimise the impact of any teething troubles if and when the contract is introduced.

GPs must not be expected to cope with mounds of new paperwork and cash-flow crises ­ or any of the other problems that could arise if the contract goes ahead in its current form.

GPs are relying on their leaders to ensure these problems do not arise. The negotiators must now step back from their desperate attempts to plaster over the cracks in the contract and turn their minds to addressing its fundamental flaws.

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