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Registrars are a help, not a hindrance

From Dr Amee Bhatt and Dr Niraj Patel, London

As GP registrars, we are writing in response to the GPs who set out the reasons they would not be prepared to contribute to the cost of having a registrar in their practice (Letters, 28 September).

We wholeheartedly agree that having a personal trainer through the year is an excellent educational experience, and that we learn an incredible amount from their sharing of experiences and advice. We also agree that practices should not have to pay registrars and that trainers should be paid more for what they do.

However, we don't agree that having a GP registrar is a drain on the practice, as some of the contributors said. Our experience is the opposite.

Without doubt, at the beginning, it is a steep learning curve and we do more than our fair share of asking questions, and have longer consultation times. However, quite early on, we start asking less and get on with the job of seeing patients.

We are an extra pair of hands and we fit into the duty doctor rota, do visits, contribute to audit and QOF points. We are aware of practices that have ended up relying on the registrar in order to be able to offer enough appointments, to do visits and so on, especially when partners are away.

Registrars work hard for the practice and their patients. This is confirmed by the fact that several of the registrars on our scheme have been asked

to stay on after the year as salaried GPs.

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