How's it going?
Dr Patrick Clarke member of large GMS partnership in Burnham, Buckinghamshire
partnership in Burnham, Buckinghamshire
I'm aged 32 and I had been hoping for a 5-10 per cent increase in
pension. I felt 59 per cent was unrealistic.
I think the new contract has delivered on pensions because 8.8 per cent would seem reasonable to me.
I feel fairly positive about things at the moment. It does seem to have given us an uplift.
There are concerns about the amount of pensions contributions in the global sum. I don't think that has been completely clarified with us.
Older GPs and partners in our practice are more worried, but I have got a
long way to go.
Dr David Bellamy PMS GP in Bournemouth, five full-time, three part-time partners
Bournemouth, five full-time,
three part-time partners
I intend to retire soon after 2006 and being close to
retirement, any increase would be welcome. I have to say 59 per cent never sounded realistic to me. Why should they give us as much as that? It is too early to tell if the new contract is delivering.
Things look quite favourable but it won't be starting before 2006 anyway. The new contract has promised many things and has also included lots of hidden costs. Things don't always materialise
Dr Cornelius Crowley member of four-five partner GMS practice in Ealing, west London
practice in Ealing, west London
I have 10 years to go before retirement. From the outset we were told our pensions would
increase by a third if we accepted the new contract and did well under it.
It is too early to tell if this will be the case, but I have a feeling it will be achieved as it is over a period of three years and the payment per quality point will go up next year anyway. If it isn't 30 per cent I will be cheesed off.
The only issue around it is that some people are thinking of retiring before the contract has been in for three years, which is really stupid. It is a lack of knowledge that this will make a significant difference to the amount of their pension.
Dr Tony Crockett GP in Swindon, GMS practice with 4.5 partners
I think most of us are thinking along the lines of a 20 per cent increase in our pensions, but it is
too early to tell if that will be the case.
What is happening is that a lot of people due to retire are waiting to reap the promised benefits of the new contract, so it will be 24 months at least before we see.
I'm 15-20 years off retirement and my feelings are basically that it is good that more of a GP's profits are allowable for pensions, but I think also the promises for the new pension are almost too good
to be true.
Dr John Ashcroft a GMS GP in an eight-partner practice in Ilkeston, Derbyshire
I opted out of out-of-hours responsibility on July 1 and have done the occasional shift since then. I think the contract has
delivered on out-of-hours.
I wanted a choice to do sessions when I wanted to do them. Before, I had to do the sessions I was given and you couldn't swap them.
Now I can do some sessions if I want to and if I don't want to I don't have to do them. It gives me control.
One enduring benefit of the new contract is that at least the out-of-hours opt-out has been a success for GPs.
It's too early to tell when it comes to patient care, but I think things should be okay if enough money goes into this. The really big problem is that there are just not enough GPs in this country.
Out-of-hours is a big weight off my mind one of my partners has gone off sick and the only way I can cope with the next few weeks is that I don't have to worry about out-of-hours because I haven't got anything booked.
Dr Clair Carpenter a GP in a four-partner GMS practice in Colchester, Essex
in Colchester, Essex
I gave up out-of-hours responsibility on July 1 but would still be happy to work some shifts. I
think the contract has delivered on out-of-hours.
I wanted the ability to plan my weeks and months ahead a bit better and to be able to devote myself more to the surgery work.
I feel relieved. I think the changes have come at the right time. We are doing Saturday mornings until October. The service relies on GPs to do shifts but the GPs are there to do them. They are also training paramedics. At the moment the service seems to be running very well.
Dr Catherine Lindley a GMS GP in a five-partner practice in Reigate, Surrey
in Reigate, Surrey
I don't think the contract has delivered. I think a fiasco with patient care has been the result.
I opted out in April and we also stopped Saturday mornings. But that has been a major hiccup because people have complained that it's not easy to see someone at the weekend.
Patients say they have to go and queue in casualty. They do use NHS Direct and that says to see your doctor in 24 hours and that has caused more aggro than ever. We have had quite a lot of trouble with NHS Direct. We were employed by the PCT to do out-of-hours sessions they were not onerous and they worked quite well.
It's true that it's lovely now that after a dreadful day there is no out-of-hours. But while this may have helped our quality of life, it may not have helped patient care.
Dr Alex Dickson a singlehanded GP with an associate in Lairg in the Scottish Highlands
in the Scottish Highlands
I very much doubt whether the contract will deliver a smooth opt-out.
We are going to be able to opt out as from December 1, which is very nice. But though I want opting out to give me more time to myself and my family, I don't want it at the expense of safety for my patients.
The reason I doubt whether the contract will deliver is because of the attitude of the
administration. They do not seem to have
appreciated the problems that exist in rural practices and they seem to be prepared to take unnecessary
risks with doctor cover.
It will not deliver as good a service to the patients as what they get at the moment. I may be troubled by patients coming to my house.
When the contract first came out it all sounded
too good to be true, and that's what it
has developed into something that is too good to be true.
Dr Jane Hughes a PMS GP in a three-partner practice in Croydon, south London
in Croydon, south London
I think it's too early to tell. We're transferring responsibility and giving up working out-of-
hours shifts this month. It will be great to stop. We are not sure what is going to happen now. We have had concerns over patient care but don't really feel there is a great deal of control we have over it.
The biggest impact it will have is it will stop Saturday mornings. The main difference is I am not going to have to work any weekends that's the main attraction.