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At the heart of general practice since 1960

MPs urge better GP education on hep C

I am 55, and giving my very best for the Department of Health and country, but I can't go on at this knackering pace without collapsing, so please count on my support.

I've got 2,500 patients ­ but they might as well be hens and sheep ­ I seem to be drowning in paper and

e-mails and faxes. Bring back 1984!

Dr Richard Adcock

Alfriston, East Sussex

·Well done on your manifesto campaign! It seems to be the only way of expressing displeasure at the new contract changes. None of our other support bodies seem to have any realistic voice.

General practice is an easy target because of its very weak union ­ the other public services are already threatening strike action regarding recent pension change proposals. What is our profession doing?

The new contract was never going to achieve its stated aims ­ to improve working conditions, relieve stress and encourgage recruitment and retention.

The main change in my practice seems to be spending a large amount of extra time Read-coding/proving what I was always doing in the first place. Doctors should be left to do the job they were trained to do rather than score points for desperate politicians.

Wishing you all the best in your efforts. Perhaps you can achieve some of what the LMCs, BMA/negotiators have failed to do?

Dr A Young

Letchworth

·There has been a vast increase in workload for GPs with the new contract. This is not related to the actual list size on which the global sum is based but more closely to the ASTROPU list size.

The ASTROPU is not an accurate measure of workload but is a better approximation as it directly reflects the number of prescriptions issued. The non-prescription workload is not included and is a significant factor. This should include phone advice, and every other thing that GPs have always done but have never been paid for.

My own list is 2,020. The weighted list is 2,350 but the ASTROPU list is 2,857. This is an equivalent workload of 141 per cent. In other words my staff and I are putting in a workload that is 40 per cent extra over the amount for which we are paid.

If we were selling widgets we would be taking on extra staff and pulling bigger profits. But in the NHS we are just working ourselves into an early grave. Patient demand has increased because of the new tick-box culture of this new contract. I said a year ago that it should have been called the 'con-trick' and it is proving to be just so.

Dr Stephen Fox

Leigh, Lancashire

·I write in support of your campaign on behalf of general practice. Patients want to know who their doctor is rather than which organisation they are registered with.

My wife laughed hilariously when I told her that Choose and Book would not take too much extra time in a consultation. EMIS is my chosen IT software. It is ludicrous to think I might need to swap to an untried and as yet unwritten programme.

Dr SJ Warren

Mutlay, Plymouth

·General practice has gone completely wrong thanks to the civil servants that envy our previous excellent position in society, to the misinformed idiots who voted for the new contract and, in some part, to the mistaken belief that we are all Dr Shipmans.

I am so grateful that I am near the end of my career, but chasing hopeless targets and trying to satisfy managers has left me very disillusioned .

Dr Michael Frank

Rainham, Kent

·Since the new contract we have seen a fall in GP recruitment. Working in a crumbling institution is frustrating and demoralising ­ no wonder people are leaving the profession. I will be next on the long list of early retirers.

Dr Anita Sharma

Chadderton, Oldham

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