GPs in Wales could go bust

The widening gap in disease prevalence between Wales and England means some practices in Wales are being ‘pushed to the brink of viability’, LMCs have said.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Laurence Buckman
GPC deputy chairman Dr Laurence Buckman

GPC leaders have also admitted that the square rooting mechanism in the prevalence formula used to weight quality pay ‘overcompensates’ for differences between practices.

LMCs carried motions calling for revisions to make the prevalence formula reflect true workload better.

Morgannwg LMC member Dr Ashok Rayani told the 2007 LMCs conference that Welsh GPs have to work harder and pay more staff because of higher levels of disease. Prevalence in Wales was now 15 per cent higher on average across domains of the quality framework compared to 10 per cent last year, Dr Rayani said. The average Welsh practice would be around £5,000 better off in England, he said.

Losses on prevalence were compounded by enhanced services cuts and the zero pay award, which meant some Welsh practices ‘were being pushed to the brink of viability’.

GPC deputy chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: ‘It is unfair that Welsh doctors have to work harder for the same pay. Negotiators are looking at that now.’

He added that the square root formula had gone too far in trying to avoid huge variations in pay between practices: ‘What we now know is that the square root formula actually over-damps the differences between practices.’

Changing the deal could create new winners and losers, he said, but this was ‘not a reason not to do it’, Dr Buckman said.

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