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Open all hours? Let's make it resignation issue for GPs

From Dr Martin Seely

Urmston, Manchester

When did Patricia Hewitt renegotiate our new contract? I thought we were able to opt out of working from 18.00 to 08.00, the time being classed 'out of hours'.

Where will the funds come from to work these extra hours if we have to open out of hours, because most PCTs will not fund Saturday morning surgeries even though they are enhanced services? Does she really think GPs are able to fund new nurse posts out of our own income?

Why is it always GPs who are attacked about unavailability when outpatient services are nine to five Monday to Friday, and if the medical staff work beyond these hours they are paid at premium rates.

We fought long and hard for the option to opt out of evening and night work to enable us to gain some sort of family life.

Patricia Hewitt should tackle the still appalling waiting times for outpatient appointments, investigations and operations before she tells GPs they have to provide more services in line with supermarkets and banks who are driven by profit.

Extended opening should be put to grassroot GPs as a resignation issue. When has anyone been able to see their Member of Parliament at the time of their own choosing?

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