I was interested to read about the bid to swap 60 quality points for extended hours (GP, 12 October). I work as a rural GP in a two-handed practice. If we were to provide two-hour surgeries one evening per week and two hours on Saturday morning, after deducting staff wages and increased premises overheads, this would produce a payment of approximately £2.50 per hour per GP for these antisocial opening times.
As a couple running the practice, we take six weeks' annual leave together. When this is factored in, the practice will actually lose £1,500 per annum because of increased locum costs. We have not yet factored in increased childminding costs or effects on our quality time together as a family.
I believe the current minimum wage is £5.52 per hour (we are both aged over 22). Increased opening hours for 60 quality points...? Not a tough decision.
Dr Robert Lambourn, Wooler, Northumberland.