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At the heart of general practice since 1960

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Sessional GPs in Scotland are highly satisfied with their jobs but want more career opportunities, a survey has concluded.

Three-quarters of the 387 sessional GPs questioned said they felt valued as equal members of the primary care team.

But 87 per cent wanted more career opportunities, such as developing a special interest, to be made available to them.

Two-thirds said administration and paperwork caused them most dissatisfaction with their job.

The sessional GPs were characteristically female, aged 39 and working 26 hours a week as retainers. Most expressed a need for IT training as part of their career development.

Study author Fiona French, a researcher for NHS Education for Scotland, said improved pay rates were making sessional GP work more attractive.

She said: 'The tables seem to have turned and I think that the workloads in general practice have made principals a lot less satisfied.'

Dr Mary Church, joint-chair of GPC Scotland, added: 'I think sessional GPs are in control of what they do so they feel more satisfied.'

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