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Doctors !!
November 28, 2016

Joined: May 12, 2014
Posts: 685
Doctors !!

November 28, 2016

Before I retired I was the Deputy CEO of the then local Primary Care Trust, for my last year of service I was The Acting CEO. We were the budget holders and responsible authority for all local NHS services. This included all primary care practitioners, GPs included. Before I retired, Labour gave GPs their current contract that absolved GPs of their 24/7 duty of care to their patients. At the same time, in return for formalising certain health checks on patients with conditions such as asthma, diabetes, hypertension et al, Labour gave most GPs a massive pay rise. So; most GPs opted out of their 24/7 duty of care and used about £6k of their average £20k pa salary increase to buy in out of hours care services from other doctors. Enterprising GPs set up Out Of Hours consortiums and collected all the other GPs fees who opted out, they then hired GPs to cover the local area. Usually having about 1 GP on duty at night to cover 100 to 150 thousand population. In many cases these contracted doctors were foreign or flown in from other EU countries for a weekend, looking after patients they had no idea about, in an area they had never visited, often times in a country whose language they only just understood. Most reasonable run practices pay their partners £100,00 plus as JKW rightly points out, GPs are however up in arms because they haven't had a real pay rise for about 3 years. We do have a dearth of GPs in many areas, in our local area 4 practices have been closed due to no trained GPs being available. Add in the recent rise in women GPs , many of whom work part time, and the situation IS heading for a big problem. Overworked? It is a very subjective issue. Compared to some of the other many jobs where people work in very physically and intellectually demanding jobs perhaps GPs have a relatively easy life. In my experience many GPs are arrogant, self obsessed, needy and very demanding. No two GPs ever agree on anything other than that they are overworked and underpaid. I have lost count of the times I chaired meetings with a group of GPs that ended in acrimony. That said, there are some practices where GPs are stressed, where their practice lists have grown while GP numbers have waned. In 2007, at a national conference in London, I raised the issue of an ever ageing GP population coupled to an ever decreasing cohort of trainees. We were told plans were in hand to deal with it. Errrrrrr!,,            

November 28, 2016

Joined: May 8, 2014
Posts: 1205
Doctors !!

November 28, 2016

I'm going to come at this from another direction,my oldest granddaughter who works in a GP's surgery in Manchester and has been there for 4 years ,when she first joined the practice there was 5 partners with something in the area of 7/8k patients . Now 2016 there is 1(one) left with 4 locums all newly qualified the others have either retired or moved abroad. The surgery is open 9 to 6 Monday to Friday and Saturday 9 til 1pm ,from what I gather there is a practice nurse on sight and appointments every 15 min except at lunchtime . Yes a lot of the service they provide is by phone/computor for prescriptions and repeat prescriptions , one thing my granddaughter has problems is language ,they have to have a interpreter on call ,mainly for Asian woman and East Europeans (Romainians ,Bulgarians) . From listening to the horror stories coming from my granddaughter the surgery is abused ,people who are not registered or moved area demanding a service they are not entitled to ,missing appointments etc . The other surgeries in the area are closing down due to lack of doctors ,this is putting pressure on the local A+E at Manchester North Hospital and walk-in centres , yes we can surmise that a doctors life and pay scale is cushy to what we did for a living ,but from first hand the system is creaking due to migration ,especially in big cities let alone in the rest of the country were the population is outstripping resources . A catch 22 situation ,we need the workers but the infrastructure is not there ,either the schools ,health service or housing , aka Brexit .


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