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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GP blames 'pig's ear' as beds close

Dr David Little and his partners stopped doing community hospital work on April 1 after their primary care trust withdrew the offer of a daytime contract.

Dr Little's practice, in Warminster, Wiltshire, did not want to continue on-call community hospital work – for which it earned 62p

per partner per hour on a year-round basis – when they had dropped GMS out-of-hours.

But the PCT reverted to offering a 24-hour contract for community hospital work when its plans for overall on-call cover fell apart last month.

As the practice was left to answer its own GMS out-of-hours calls, because a co-op had already been disbanded, Dr Little said it was impossible to cover the hospital, and the hospital has had to shut temporarily as a result.

He said: 'We were happy to continue during the day but are not prepared to do out-of-hours. The whole thing is a complete pig's ear.'

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