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CAMHS won't see you now

GP asks patients to review notes for electronic record

I find the story about partnership job advertisements, or rather the lack of them (News, August 20), very interesting. The story is entirely right as far as the situation is at present. But in my opinion it does not reflect properly on the reasons behind it.

It is oversimplistic to say fewer GPs want to take on the responsibility of a partnership. In fact, I feel the opposite may be the truth. I was part of a VTS scheme and I qualified as a GP only recently.

During one of our last VTS teaching sessions, the topic of discussion among the trainees was about the lack of opportunity to enter into a partnership.

A straw-poll conducted in our group clearly showed a vast majority of the trainees wanted to take on the challenge of partnership.

I think generalising all new GPs as being unwilling to take on the responsibility is not wholly true. The people who say that are not really listening to the newly-qualified GPs.

It is understandable that partnerships are more like a marriage and cannot be rushed. But my worry is that general practice is beginning to reflect the society it is serving with fewer people willing to enter into an official partnership/ marriage.

Partners with minimal commitment (and subsequently lower benefits) are much sought after by their prospective suitors.

This sad situation makes me think about the recent upsurge in the average principal's earnings (about £110,000). Their new-found reluctance to take on partners may be partially explained by their increased profits.

It is too simplistic to say the entire situation is the result of reluctance among partners to share their earnings. But it would be too naive to think entirely otherwise.

It is important to point out that salaried GPs play a vital role in achieving this increased income. Without them the QOF points would never be achieved. It is time to address the gross disparity of pay between the salaried GP and a full-time partner ­ before it destroys the very soul of general practice.

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