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Hitting back with no harm to patients

I despair at the Government's stance regarding extended opening hours. A reasonable starting point would have been funding it fairly to cover surgery expenses like heating and lighting and staff salaries for unsocial hours.

We also have contracted hours of duty as agreed in the last contract - an increase in hours of duty should attract recompense. Suggesting a fine of 135 points from our contract suggests that no item in our contract is immune from populist meddling and political expediency.

Some new clinical innovations of merit will involve extra work but will be funded by a reallocation of QOF points.

I would propose sticking to the rules as follows. Department for Work and Pensions reports could be saved up, the pre-paid envelopes relabelled and sent to Gordon Brown, 10 Downing Street, or to the DWP central office in London or a DWP office in another part of the country. All the reports would get back and we would be fulfilling our obligations.

Three-month medical certificates could be issued as a Med 3 for one week and 12 Med 5s dated sequentially for one week each, all signed the same day and causing the system some inconvenience and our individual patients, with whom we wish to continue to provide an NHS service, minimal disruption.

We must take some action, but it should never be construed, for political ends, as detrimental to patient care.

From Dr John Leonard, Falkirk, Stirlingshire

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