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At the heart of general practice since 1960

U-turn as GPs are offered return ticket from Carr-Hill

GPs would be able to switch between the Carr-Hill formula and the minimum practice income guarantee (MPIG) if they accept the contract, GPC negotiators have revealed.

The surprise decision marks another U-turn by the

GPC as it strives to resurrect the chances of a Yes vote. Negotiators had originally told GPs they would have

to stick with the Carr-Hill

formula once they chose that option.

Instead, GPs would be able to choose between the two pay systems every time the formula was updated to include more accurate data.

If data is added that hits the income of a practice that opted for Carr-Hill, the GPs could switch to MPIG based on their previous year's global sum earnings.

If new data ­ such as a switch to registered patient lists or the inclusion of a factor for non-English speaking patients ­ benefited a practice that had previously relied on MPIG, it could switch to Carr-Hill.

Dr Simon Fradd, GPC joint-deputy chair, said the choice meant the contract was a 'one-way ticket' to earn more. 'If a practice at the changeover to the new contract earned £500,000, but Carr-Hill gave them £400,000, they would go to MPIG,' he said. 'But if there's a change in the formula which raised income to £600,000 they could move to Carr-Hill.'

Practices could only switch if there had been a change to the formula. If a practice lost out through the closure of a nursing home it could not use that as an excuse to switch.

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