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Outrage as GPs are accused of wasting flu vaccine supplies

By Ben Cook

GPs' job satisfaction has increased markedly since the introduction of the new contract 18 months ago.

Fifty-three per cent of a panel of 250 GPs taking part in the bi-annual Norwich Union Healthcare survey said they had high or very high levels of job satisfaction. The figure compared with just 42 per cent in April 2004.

The survey revealed marked disparities between GPs in different regions.

GPs in Northern Ireland were the happiest with 73 per cent reporting high or very

high levels of job satisfaction, up from 67 per cent last


This was despite the fact GPs in the province worked more hours per week ­ 54 ­ than any other region.

Dr Eugene Deeny, chair of Western LMC, said the new contract was the main reason for the increased satisfaction.

He said: 'There is a perception that GPs are rewarded more for the quality of work done ­ working relations with health boards are good.'

Doctors in Wales were the second happiest, with 57 per cent satisfied with their job, up from 54 per cent in April.

The biggest increase in levels of satisfaction was among GPs in East Anglia where the number happy in their work jumped from one-third to 55 per cent.

Dr Ian Hume, chair of Norfolk LMC, said GPs had put 'an awful lot of work' into the quality and outcomes framework and were now seeing the fruits of their labour.

He added: 'The change in the out-of-hours contract would have made a significant difference to the quality of life.'

The survey also revealed that GPs were working the fewest number of hours per week ­ an average of 45 ­ since it began in 2003. They were also seeing fewer patients per week ­ 131 compared with 140 in April 2004.

Despite working the fewest hours, 41 per week, GPs in London were the least happy in their jobs.

Only 42 per cent were satisfied, down from 48 per cent in April 2005.

Dr Karim Janmohamed, co-chair of Greenwich LMC, said

issues such as large workloads and poor support from PCTs were affecting GPs in the


He added: 'There are also a lot of pressures with regard to workload in London which goes with deprivation and ethnicity.'

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