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CAMHS won't see you now

PCOs worry they can't afford to meet soaring out-of-hours rates

Primary care organisations are warning they may not be able to afford rocketing pay rates for out-of-hours GPs.

Several co-ops have recently increased their rates,

with Surrey co-op Thamesdoc paying the equivalent of £140,000 a year.

Barnet Doctors on Call said it put its rates up by 20 per cent last year and is considering a further rise. But general manager of the co-op, Ron Owttrim, said local trusts had warned they were uncertain how much they would be able to pay GPs when they took over their out-of-hours responsibility. 'The PCTs have not told us what they see as the level yet,' he said.

North Hertfordshire and Stevenage PCT said it had 'some concerns about the rates of pay GPs may demand'.

East Elmbridge and Mid-Surrey PCT, which is covered by Thamesdoc, is also concerned at the rate rises.

Meanwhile the pay increases show no sign of abating.

Maidstone Doctors on Call in Kent recently increased its shift rates from £25 to £40 an hour on weekdays and £40 to £55 an hour at weekends.

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