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Why are GPs still being kept guessing?

In comedy, so they say, timing is everything. But few GPs will have been amused that in the same week as a BMA review heaped criticism on negotiators for not keeping GPs informed, it was left to this newspaper to reveal a detailed proposal to dampen the effect of practice prevalence on quality earnings.

There is something to be said for the proposal. The link between prevalence and the cost of meeting quality targets is not linear and no one benefits if low-earning practices become destabilised.

Critics, however, will rightly point out that the quality money was supposed to be a bonus and that the principle on which the contract is based ­ reward according to work ­ appears alarmingly flexible.

As one impenetrable formula is added to another, GPs are left on the sidelines wondering what they will actually earn next year. There is no funny side to that.

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