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‘This is not sufficient to keep my practice afloat’

Dr Sanjeev Juneja on the new GP funding award

This funding uplift is not going to be sufficient to keep my practice afloat. We are now looking actively to close the practice, sell it or join a group.

My personal income is down by 30%, but I have not cared about this. The painful impact is on patient care, as we have had to put services on hold and the waiting times for appointments are getting longer.

I could go on about this but we do expect to see appointment waits keep getting longer, from up to a week to two or even three weeks as we will be forced to cut locum doctors.

We intend to stop removing sutures for a start, which we have done over the years without any payment,  investing money from our pockets in suture kits to help patients.

We may need to reconsider a few other services after seeing what uplift we get per patient from reshuffling of MPIG, the QOF and seniority pay funds.

We have taken a cut and given a raise to our staff in two increments of 7% over the past year because we feel that our staff have been wonderful and worked through really difficult conditions.

We have trained them to multi-task and they have taken on the responsibilities of healthcare assistants and phlebotomists, and all of them do the stop smoking service.

We explained that the increase was in two increments because the practice had to absorb the impact gradually.

This uplift is discouraging to say the least – we are balancing on the edge of the precipice. I suspect practice closures will gain momentum in the coming months.

Dr Sanjeev Juneja is a GP in Rochester, Kent

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Readers' comments (12)

  • "My personal income is down by 30%, but I have not cared about this"
    You cannot blame the government with an attitude like that.

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  • Sorry GP Partner, but I have seen patients at midnight at 2 am in - 20degrees and refused to take the crumpled banknote squeezed in my hand by elderly patient living in a shack in squalid conditions. I really don't care about the money for myself and I take pride that medicine is more of a passion than a profession. The government, on the other hand has a duty to provide equal funding for every citizen of this country and that is not happening. How would you explain that a Practice in Gillingham with a similar profile of services is paid 200k more with a list of just 200 patients more than I have?

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  • Equal funding is that not just what removing MPIG is meant to achieve? ........ Just a thought.
    The problem is no 2 patients are the same and does the practice in Gillingham have the same Carr Hill weighting as you?
    To suggest every citizen should get the same payment is a ridiculous suggestion unless I have misunderstood what you meant.

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  • Indeed, you have misunderstood. I've always said that the Carr Hill formula is flawed. Before I go further, I would say that it's difficult to polemize with a shadow, so please put a name to your post unless you are a BMA/LMC/CCG member and you feel your position does not allow you to speak openly. Thanks

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  • how would Jeremy Hunt feel if he was given a 30% pay cut I wonder?

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  • Am I right in saying 7% of £8 per hour amounts to an increase of pay to £8.50 a hour. That doesn't sound like a big pay rise at all. Please correct me if I am wrong.

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  • GP Partners = Professional moaners

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  • Salaried GP @ 5:51: When one talks of percentages, two 7 percentage increases would certainly give you a 'small' increase per hour but if you consider the annual increase of 14% on the sum of staff costs of, let's say, 50 k and plus additional NHSP and NI contributions that go with it, you may be able to fathom the increase in costs. Hope this is helpful.

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  • 8:25am - I still think that the increase in the pay of 7% to your receptionist / admin team is no where even near to a modest pay rise. You also mentioned that your team started to take on additional responsibilities - in which case the pay that they ended up getting is what they deserved for the additional work they put in. I would not consider this to be a pay rise at all. There are places where Health Care Assistants (HCA) are being paid £16/hr and if your receptionist on £8/hr has now taken on the HCA role, then they would deserve a minimum of 100% pay rise (£16/hr).

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  • 10:03: You are right in your observation that if you change roles then your salary increases; If you are a Phlebotomist or HCA, it is logical that we are talking of a raise is on that salary of the phlebotomist/HCA and not the Reception rate- and that is what is happening. As for your guess about how much my staff earns - can't disclose staff rates without their permission although I can disclose my earnings which are not relevant here.

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