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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Why new contract is mother of all coffin nails for us

As many of my vintage confidentially predicted, the financial carrot was dangled before our eyes and the turkeys voted for Christmas. Incredibly the pay and pension promises clouded out the reality of a proposed contract that was seriously incomplete and totally unpriced.

My 'GPC advice on signing the GMS contract' as at February 19 describes its guidance as 'apparently counterintuitive' – sign the contract even if you wish to dispute it!

I have wrestled with 'counterintuitive' for many hours with many dictionaries. The best I can come up with is that I should take action which is 'in the opposite direction to my instinctive common-sense'. I could laugh this off if it concerned my golf club subscription.

For me it concerns 32 years of hard work in general practice and 36 years of pension rights – and I'm not laughing.

The latest contract will prove to be the mother of all coffin-nails for the family doctor in the NHS.

Decades of inept and spineless leadership have led us hand in hand down the long and frustrating road to perdition. It will remain one of life's great mysteries how a profession of highly intelligent men and women can tolerate endless disunity and finally self-destruct.

My income and pension are now increasingly confused and under threat. It is in this arena that my superiors now urge me to display counterintuitive behaviour. My response to the GPC is two words – both monosyllabic.

Dr J Beatson

Troon

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