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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Why do salaried GPs get a raw deal?

I have been a salaried GP at my practice since finishing as a registrar, nearly two years ago. Things were rosy for a while. Then you start to notice that you are doing a lot more clinical work (visits, insurance reports) than the partners.

I initially accepted this, kept my head down and got on with things. A few months later a second (more experienced) salaried GP was employed. It soon became apparent that there was a lot of exploitation going on - for example, seeing a hell of a lot more patients (it was not unusual to see six to eight extras after surgery) and not being paid for insurance reports.

Then, towards the end of last year, we were told that because of 'unforeseen' financial problems the practice needed to reduce our hours, and overnight our salaries were halved. No explanation has been offered for this yet.

You would have thought that if the practice was in trouble, the partners would do extra sessions, but to date this has not happened at all, which increases pressure on all members of staff. More than half my time working in the surgery is spent on call.

Our contract is a mish-mash of BMA guidance, and interestingly is based on Agenda for Change, which I was not aware applied to GPs.

Being a professional person, I have always taken the attitude that you stay until your job is done. The line has to be drawn when you are staying until you have done some of someone else's job too.

In any other profession, I would have walked away from a job like this a long time ago, but with the way things are generally in GP-land, it's difficult to know what to do, as at least I have some guaranteed monthly income with my current salaried job.

I feel that it is this insecurity that partners play on to exploit salaried GPs to the maximum.

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