The number of GPs concerned that the contract would have a negative effect in clinical areas not incentivised by the contract decreased a year after its introduction.
GPs’ mean income rose by over £19,000 in the first year of the contract (2004/5) and working hours have continued to fall since 2001.
GPs reported, however, that the contract had decreased their professional autonomy and increased their administrative and clerical workloads.
This report comes amid concerns about April’s revised contract, which will include points in the quality framework for work that has not been shown to improve outcomes, such as extended hours.
Under half of GPs surveyed in 2004 predicted that the contract would lead to better quality of care. When GPs were asked in 2005 if they thought it had, over 60 per cent agreed.
Data was collected from a postal survey and the main analysis used the 1,378 GPs who responded to both.
Just over 73 per cent of GPs thought the contract had improved the quality of preventative care.
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