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More pay for less work was the whole point

From Dr Glyn Phillips

East Kilbride, Lanarkshire

So Professor Sibbald thinks we are being paid more for working less (News, 22 June)? Surely this was the intended outcome of the new contract – to correct the iniquitous under-rewarded and under-appreciated way we had worked for many years.

So if it's true, why bleat about it now in such a resentful manner? We worked ludicrous hours without proper reward for many years.

But is it completely true? Certainly we no longer do any out-of-hours work, but I doubt if we could now without becoming extremely stressed and burnt-out within a very short time.

We now work considerably longer on the basic nGMS job of being a GP. Lunch is a hurried sandwich at the desk. I get home over an hour later than I used to. I frequently have to come in at weekends to catch up on results, referrals and reports.

I resent misinformed academic views on how we work and stating that we are not worth our contract award. Prior to nGMS we could only attract a single applicant for partnership, and even then I had to phone her to ask if she would apply!

Now we can hardly find a locum because they are all queuing up to become GPs. I think that's called improved recruitment, another intention of the contract.

We can see what's coming. Ten to 15 years of erosion of income versus increasing expectation and targets – until morale, retention and recruitment hit rock bottom again. Then our successors can have a 'new' new contract.

• From Dr John Onuorah

Harlow, Essex

The issue of GP remuneration appears to be significantly misrepresented by the media with the GPC effectively on the back foot with regard to media representation.

With the vast majority of GPs working nine sessions a week on an annual six-week holiday entitlement, will an hourly rate of pay of £40-£45 be considered excessive in light of the nature of work involved?

I would expect the GPC to be more proactive in presenting a clear perspective as to how GP remuneration compares with other professions.

• From Dr Jo Lowther

Kippax, Leeds

I am definitely working more hours. I'm half-time and spend 28 hours a week in the practice plus time at home. I could easily spend a lot more time on work if I allowed my naturally obsessional tendencies to take over my life even more.

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