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Non-principals' needs seem to be sidelined

How can non-principals make up our minds without the information relevant to us? Those of us who have never been principals cannot get to grips with the financial implications of practice accounts.

Where do we fit in, except to approve or reject the general 'shape' of the contract a second time around?

What is not appreciated is that the GPC negotiators and NHS Confederation will shortly be releasing 'model' contracts of employment for:

 · GP retainees

 · Flexible career scheme GPs

 · PCO-employed salaried GPs

 · Practice-employed salaried GPs.

Just as the main GPC did not see the main contract before it was released, the GPC non-principal sub-committee will not see the model salaried contracts before they are published on the BMA website.

Even if we did, we could do nothing about them, they are out of our hands. We are not allowed to adjust them as they are what will be funded by the Department of Health.

When they arrive there should be details on minimum pay scale and the things we have tried our utmost to influence, such as seniority payments, sick pay, maternity, paternity and adoptive leave, education, pensions and continuity of service.

We are aware that employing practices must receive adequate funding in order to provide

good employment practice, and have been working to ensure that the principals are supported in

supporting us.

Please note that the contracts are minimum contracts and you are expected to negotiate your terms to bring annual leave and so on in line with your principal colleagues to avoid intra-practice unrest.

Before casting their votes all GPs should check out the salaried contracts on the web to see how they affect the overall picture. In the meantime, if you are employed by a practice and having children imminently, check out the GMS November 2002 family-friendly amendments.

Practices should be able to claim locum reimbursements for those of you that are not supernumary. PMS salaried locum costs for sickness and maternity come via the 'actual costs' process.

Dr Elizabeth Howard

GPC non-principal


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