Middle managers have hit out at inadequate incentives to collect information on ethnicity that could help tackle health inequalities.

The call came as the chairman of the British Medical Association's GPs committee estimated 70 per cent of GPs 'didn't care much' about collecting the information.

It follows pledges by the prime minister and the health secretary to put health inequalities at the top of the political agenda.

At a seminar for the Race for Health programme, primary care trust representatives criticised the fact that GPs get just one quality and outcomes framework point for collecting the ethnicity data of new registrants. One delegate said this meant there 'was no incentive for anyone to do anything'.

BMA GPs committee chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said the QOF point equated to just£128 a year. He estimated that, while about 20 per cent of GPs supported ethnicity data collection, including himself, 70 per cent 'didn't care much' and about 10 per cent 'really didn't like it'.

National director of Race for Health Professor Helen Hally said it would send the wrong message if the QOF, which is currently being reviewed, were not changed to incentivise ethnicity data collection.

Please note:HSJ is running a one-day conference in partnership with Race for Health on 6 December in London.

The Achieving Race Equality in the NHS event combines practical workshops, plenary sessions and a story-telling marketplace to help make a real difference in the way NHS services are commissioned, delivered and accessed by all marginalised groups.

Book before 12 October for a£50 discount. Visit www.hsj-raceequality.co.uk for more information.