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Independents' Day

Practices will go to wall in pay squeeze

I am delighted to read that Dr Laurence Buckman and the GPC are pushing for a rise of several per cent to the current GP contract (GPC pushes for pay uplift of "several per cent).

Practice expenses have risen inexorably over the last few years, and the treasury's reluctance to give any meaningful increase to practice funds is causing increasing difficulties for practices.

Pay freezes, recruitment freezes and staff redundancies are now becoming common, as well as falling profits. With the reduction in LES funding becoming more widespread, the time approaches when practices will go to the wall.

The new health secretary has an opportunity to prove that he takes NHS general practice seriously and values the services that we provide by ensuring the ongoing financial stability of our practices and pushing for a reasonable and fair uplift from the Treasury.

From Dr Richard van Mellaerts, Kingston, Surrey

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