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Insane to accept extra hours

We have a contract that says we work 8am-6.30pm five days a week. Whether we are to work until 8pm weekdays, or on Saturday mornings, will depend on several things.

Are we to be paid to provide extra receptionists and practice nurses? Our present staff have contracts which, unlike ours, are legally enforceable, and none has any wish to work these antisocial hours.

So we will have to employ and train additional staff. As they are working antisocial hours they will have to be paid at least time and a half. Then we will have our cleaners hanging round till 8pm before they can start. They won't be happy with that, or Saturday cleaning starting at 1pm.

Is the Government going to provide the collection of bloods and the staff at hospitals to do the tests? They will not keep doing tests over a weekend.

What about all the extra out-of-hours childcare for GPs with young children? Who will pay for that?

How do staff get home after these late surgeries when there is a very restricted bus service at later times (and the greater risks associated with going home in the dark)?

So before ministers start talking about how much extra they are going to pay us, they have to answer the above questions. If they think we are going to do it for nothing by taking away money from GPs who do not do the extra hours, I think it might even induce GPs to take some sort of sanctions.

Just about all the promised benefits of the new GP contract have gone. We were cheated on pensions, the extra cash we received is rapidly being taken away through harder targets and pay freezes, and now we are asked to provide out-of-hours care not as an emergency service but routinely.

I feel this is just not on, but I have seen some of my GP colleagues accept treatment from the Government that no sane person would accept.

From Dr Tony le Vann, Doncaster, South Yorkshire

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