Parliament & Politics: GPs in deprived areas get pay rise

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THOUSANDS OF GPs working in the most deprived parts of England are each to be given an average of pounds 1,300 more a year for extra work they do, the Health minister Alan Milburn said yesterday.

More than 19,000 family doctors will benefit from the pounds 25mboost agreed by the Department of Health and the GPs' Committee of the British Medical Association.

The agreement will be presented to the Doctors' and Dentists' Pay Review Body (DDRB) for endorsement.

A total package worth pounds 60m is being allocated to doctors working in the poorest areas of the country, including some depressed rural communities, inner cities and former mining towns.

Dr John Chisholm, the chairman of the General Practitioners' Committee, said: "It is entirely right that GPs should be rewarded for the extra work they do."

Some money will also be directed at GPs who want to develop local schemes intended to help specific patient groups, such as the elderly in nursinghomes and residential homes and drug abusers.

Cash will also be allocated for extra work involved in providing good- quality services to all patients, in an effort to improve quality across the NHS.

Mr Milburn said the Government was committed to tackling health inequalities. "It is right that family doctors in the hardest-pressed areas get extra pay for these extra efforts," he said.