Pension reduction, capped earnings, moving goalposts for quality points. Such is the DoH’s interpretation of the GP contract .
The main advantages of the contract were an improved pension and the choice of doing out-of-hours work. Having reneged on its part of the contract, the DoH would now like us to extend our surgery hours and commit to out-of-hours cover because the system cannot cope without us.
I don’t think so.
Having signed up to our current in-house hours and relinquished out-of-hours, no further discussion is necessary. GPs have realised that there is another life outside medicine.
I dare say some patients would be happy if surgeries were open 24 hours a day. GPs must remain united on this position, with no creeping drift into extending hours. Let’s not go there.
There is no goodwill on the side of the DoH towards the profession, as is shown by its stance on the pension and earnings situation. It has not honoured the contract.
Changes to surgery hours should only take place if there is an overwhelming desire among GPs to do so.
However, the DoH negotiators are a cunning lot and our negotiators will probably be stitched up once again.
Dr Stuart Roberts