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A faulty production line

Frustrated salaried GPs being driven into arms of private sector

By Nigel PraitiesSalaried GPs are so frustrated with the lack of opportunities within general practice that almost 70% are now considering turning to the private sector, Pulse can reveal.Our survey, carried out with the National Association of Sessional GPs, reveals the long-term shortage of partnerships risks driving salaried doctors into the arms of the private sector.The survey reveals the average salaried GP in the UK is a woman, who has worked full-time for five years in a PMS practice, earning around £71,686 per year.Most of the 79 salaried GPs surveyed said they were gloomy about their position, with three-quarters not expecting to become a partner in the future.Almost three quarters thought they would get the same pay or lower at a large private firm, but 66% still said they would consider working for them.Pulse revealed last week that the ongoing pay freeze was forcing practices to expand their patient lists, with two-thirds of practices also saying they could not afford to replace a partner if a vacancy arose.Government figures also show practice vacancies have dropped for the third consecutive year and by more than half since 2007, leaving salaried GPs with a bleak future.Dr Richard Fieldhouse, vice-chair of the National Association of Sessional GPs, said the ‘self-interest' of partners meant salaried GPs now had nothing to lose by bypassing traditional general practice to enter private companies.‘I would work for Richard Branson as long as he provided the right terms and conditions. The NHS is just another business masquerading as a religion, but people think we should self-flagellate and be totally devoted to it and. But the profession cannot command the sense of loyalty it once did.'Dr Osman Bhatti, a salaried GP at a practice in Newham and a member of Newham LMC, said there was a severe lack of options for salaried GPs at the moment and he was not surprised many were looking to the private sector.‘The vacancies that are there are being snapped up. You used to be able to move on, but now you are a salaried GP and that's it,' he said.Dr Jonathan Hamling, a partner at a practice in Bath and LMC member at Avon LMC, said he ‘didn't envy' the position of younger salaried GPs, but that year-on-year pay freezes meant some partners were ‘hanging onto their profit shares' and not recruiting partners or salaried GPs.Dr Richard Fieldhouse: self-interested partners driving salaried GPs to private firms Dr Richard Fieldhouse: self-interested partners driving salaried GPs to private firms

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Dr Bhatti is actually a partner and is a member of Tower Hamlet's LMC.

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