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Gold, incentives and meh

Go back to our 1966 charter and evolve it

I was co-author of the 1966 GP Charter. This was a well-thought-out document which heralded a new era of general practice. It was thought out in Sheffield by real practising doctors on the LMC. It worked. The 1990 contract started the rot.

This awful new contract goes further down this Orwellian road. The most damaging proposal is the stopping of practice allowances. These we fought hard for. They made reasonable-sized practices possible and were to lead the way to less hurried and caring practice.

It would have been quite easy to allow practices to retain allowances for two years to hold the practice together, pay locums and recruit a new partner. This is what I think we should do now.

Reject this awful contract, go back to the charter and evolve it.

With 45 years in general practice and my part in the 1966 charter, I think I have earned the right to be heard.

My feelings can be summed up in these short extracts from a poem I have written.

Friends, colleagues, and fellow GPs, lend me your ears

I come to save the health service, not to praise it

The bad of the 1990 contract will continue

The good still remaining from the 66 charter will die....

Get rid of the 1990 contract and reject this poison chalice.

Return to the 66 charter and evolve it

Resign if needed, you have nothing to lose but your chains

Or ­ be slaves and serfs and forever hold thy piece

Let us return to being a noble independent profession.

Graham Barrowcliffe

Dronfield, Derbyshire

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