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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Out-of-hours row makes us whipping boys

It is hardly surprising morale is on the slide ('GP job satisfaction plummets as rising stress hits morale').

We have become the whipping boys of politicians and the media.

We are accused of being lazy because we opted, with significant loss of income, not to be dragged from our beds at night to see a patient with a sore throat. Then we were pressured into offering extended hours when we had finally thought we had some sort of work-life balance.

All this has happened simply because the Government totally undervalued our input and thought it could run out-of-hours cheaper and better than we could. When it all became apparent that the Department of Health had underestimated our contribution, what did the spin doctors do? Blame us. Roll on retirement!

From Dr Tony Robinson, Sandwell, West Midlands

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