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Why GPs are worth it

It's becoming clear this Government now has every intention of squeezing GPs for every penny they can, for as long as they can.

It's becoming clear this Government now has every intention of squeezing GPs for every penny they can, for as long as they can.

That's the only conclusion to be drawn from Lord Warner's comments to the effect that GPs have shamelessly trousered windfall profits from the new contract and done nothing to improve services.

Let's get the obvious out of the way. A 30 per cent pay rise in one year is a very big leap. There's no getting around that.

But for Warner and his lackeys at NHS Employers to claim GPs have not invested in their practices or in services is simply unfair and untrue.

The figures show GPs did invest in their premises and staff at a level unseen in the past seven years.

More to the point, GPs worked harder than ever to get the high QOF scores that brought their pay increase.

Public respect

GPs were set targets and did outstandingly well in hitting them. Let's not forget, as well, that QOF achievement money was not paid up front. Now GPs have brought in more money, they can invest more.

But what do they face for their pains? Their pensions capped. No income rises for the foreseeable future. QOF points to remain static, with extra work thrown in.

GPs should fight all of these impositions. And in doing so they should keep in mind they have a very powerful weapon.

A level of public respect that no Government has ever come close to matching.

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