'£15k for less work' claim stuns GPs
GPs are working four hours a week less under the new contract, but earning £15,000 a year more, a leading academic has told MPs.
Professor Bonnie Sibbald, deputy director of the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre in Manchester, told the Health Select Committee the Government had been 'over-generous' to GPs with the contract. When asked by MPs whether GPs were getting more money for less work, Professor Sibbald replied 'Yes', adding they had not deserved it.
Professor Sibbald's figures come from her as yet unpublished research into GPs' job satisfaction. She compared results from September 2005 with a previous study, carried out in March 2004 on the eve of the contract.
But the findings astonished GPs, who said they were working harder than ever.
Dr Patrick Clarke, a GP in Burnham, Buckinghamshire, said the quality framework had caused him a huge increase in workload. He said: 'I work at least an hour extra a day.'
Dr Fay Wilson, a GPC member, said BMA research found GPs worked an average 52-hour week.
Professor Sibbald predicted GP earnings would now enter a 'period of austerity'. She said: 'It does seem the Government has been over-generous.'