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At the heart of general practice since 1960

GPs aghast at Government plans for home visits by paramedics

I read much about the problems of pay and conditions of associate specialist doctors, but not much about the pay of clinical assistants. Having nearly 40 years' experience, and as a director of a university health service and an FRCP, I was until six months ago a part-time clinical assistant in genitourinary medicine paid at the princely sum of £69 per three-and-a-half-hour session.

One morning before my afternoon clinic, the chimney sweep charged £20 to clean the chimney which look 20 minutes. He was followed by two window cleaners who charged £16 for 12 minutes' work.

By the time I had done a round trip to and from the hospital of 45 miles (no mileage allowance) over a 90-minute period, I reckoned I was paid £16 per hour after tax.

I put this to the managers who were not the slightest bit interested, so I resigned.

I received not a word of thanks for my contribution and no support from the consultant. I thought managers were there to help doctors to deal with the problems of patients.

How naive can one be. And how thin charity begins to wear eventually.

Dr James Burton

Hope

Derbyshire

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