Complaint settled over media coverage of GP pay

An investigation into the Daily Mail's coverage of GP pay by the Press Complaints Commission has resulted in the newspaper publishing a letter by two GPs.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman and Surrey GP Dr Nicholas Down were unhappy with an article published in August stating that GPs were 'earning up to £380,000 a year' and adding that they are paid £200 an hour for work 'they used to do free'.

The letter says: 'While there is a single GP in north-east Essex with a pensionable income amounting to this figure, this is an extreme case and the majority of GPs do not earn anywhere near this figure.

'In addition GPs used to be paid night visit fees under the terms of the old contract, so these services were never provided for free. That system left many GPs exhausted because they would be seeing patients literally day and night.

'Under the new contract many GPs do shifts for so-called "out-of-hours" organisations, which means they can plan their working hours so that patients are not being treated by dangerously over-tired doctors.'

A Press Complaints Commission spokesman confirmed that the investigation had been resolved. The BMA and Dr Down were treated as the main complainants. There were 15 other complainants who will be contacted to see whether they are happy with the way that the complaint was resolved.

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