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Independents' Day

BMA is spot on over fees ­ solicitors would not work for such a pittance

Thank you Dr Peter Holden, chair the BMA professional fees committee, for taking up this abuse of GPs' time by solicitors (News report, August 4).

I agree that screening patient notes for material relating to third parties and so on should be paid at the rate of £140 an hour. I regularly have one or two of these requests a week. It can take up to an hour to read the notes, for which I at present charge £10 in addition to the photocopying costs but, if this amount exceeds £50, I have to drop or forgo the fee completely.

One solicitor initially refused to pay the £10, stating he had not asked me to read notes and cover over any part of the notes in the photocopying, seemingly failing to understand where our duties lie to protect third parties and patients from harmful information.

I support the higher fee not because I want to earn more money but because I want to receive fewer requests.

Some of the claims are laughable. I would like to know how solicitors would feel if asked to do the same work for next to nothing. I believe patients are unaware all their records are sent ­ for example, details of termination of pregnancies, attendances at GUM clinics and the fact they drink heavily ­ thinking that only relevant material is being sent.

And then there were nine....

Forty years ago the only form of GP was a

full-time male principal/partner, but now:

 · Principal/partner

 · Salaried assistant

 · Retainer

 · Flexible career scheme GP

 · Locum GP

 · Part-timer

 · PMS provider

 · PMS performer

 · GP registrar

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