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GPs expect stress levels to rocket in the first year

More than two-thirds of GPs expect their stress levels to soar under the new contract, a Pulse survey reveals.

Despite being able to drop out-of-hours and promises that the contract will cut workload, 68 per cent of

GPs said they expected work-

related stress to increase in the next 12 months.

Only 4 per cent of the 569 GPs who responded thought their stress levels would fall.

GPs said the switch to the new contract and the added requirements to collect data for the quality framework had increased the pressure.

Dr Anita Sharma, a singlehanded PMS GP in Oldham, said the coming year was 'going to be a killer' because of the quality and outcomes framework.

She said: 'It's going to make GPs leave the profession or do locum work. It's harder for singlehanders to achieve the quality targets as we have fewer staff and fewer nursing hours.'

Dr Koshy Johnson, a PMS GP in Hull, suggested the RCGP should change its name to the 'Royal College of Data Collectors', such were the new demands on GPs.

'Putting all this information in to get points in the quality framework will definitely mean longer working hours and more staff employment, and one has to be more computer literate,' he said.

GPC negotiators said GPs would eventually see a cut in bureaucracy and more pay when implementation of the deal was complete.

GPC joint-deputy chair Dr Hamish Meldrum said: 'I understand GPs' feelings at the moment. The process of implementation is a stressful one but I hope in a year's time it will be better.'

By Nerys Hairon

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