Letter: Come on Mr Burnham, get the basics right

Andy Burnham's comments on abolishing practice boundaries (GP, 29 January) show he has no idea of how general practice works or of the disgraceful inequalities in the basic funding in general practice that exist after 12 years of New Labour.

There is a postcode lottery of core funding. This is historic inequality and is not related to current deprivation or quality of practice. How can that be termed a level playing field for practices to compete on?

PMS growth contracts give them an advantage in provision of services, and practices with large MPIGs have a headstart in providing new services. They can thus be rewarded more, and the patients at underfunded practices suffer unfairly.

We are trying to address this locally but the PCT is hamstrung in its effort by NHS rules, which entrench rather than reduce inequality. Removing boundaries is a recipe for more confusion and waste - and is totally unworkable. It is a political gimmick rather than a sensible, thought-out plan.

Come on Mr Burnham - you need to get the basics right first and where core funding varies by 100 per cent we are not there yet.

  • Dr Tony Bentley, Evington, Leicester.

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