Scottish LMCs fear morale will plummet

Morale among doctors is likely to plummet if politicians continue to undermine GPs, according to GP leaders.

Chairman of Scottish GPC Dr Dean Marshall warned the pay freeze for 2007/8 was likely to affect morale.

Last year GPs had higher job satisfaction than other medical groups in Scotland as a result of the GMS contract, he said. But he said this was likely to be reversed in 2007.

‘I believe that the continued assault on our profession will see our morale and commitment to the NHS plummet once again as politicians continue to have cold feet over what has been perhaps the most fundamental change to GP contracts since the NHS began,’ Dr Marshall said.

Anti-GP stories in the media had also affected doctor morale, he added.

‘Over the last year we have been the victims of anti-GP spin led by the government at Westminster as it seeks to lay the blame for its financial mismanagement of the NHS at the door of GPs.’

Dr Marshall said attempts to unpick the new GMS contract and return to a disinvestment in primary care could threaten the future of general practice.

GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said that morale among GPs appeared to be low at present and he said that this was only partly caused by the pay freeze.

He said older GPs were getting used to increased skill mix after doing everything themselves for many years.

‘There’s a sense of bereavement that they’re not at the centre of things,’ said Dr Meldrum.

‘For younger GPs, it’s the uncertainty. It’s harder to get into partnerships.’

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