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Working less? Not from where I stand

From Dr Paul Richards

Wickford, Essex

Mike Seitz claims GPs are doing less and working less under the new contract (News, 12 October). This is not the experience at our practice. In fact the opposite.

We are each working up to two hours a day longer, with no lunch or tea break. I used to have some balance to my life and was able to configure my work to go to the gym two or three days a week by starting work later in the afternoon and finishing later.

Now this time has been completely absorbed, as has the extra hour in the midday I tried to reclaim by starting afternoon surgery even later and working even later into the evening.

And the extra work is not patient contact; if anything that has had to reduce. It is 'paperwork' (but on the computer). Box ticking, number analysing.

Consequently we are all feeling that a once interesting fulfilling job is becoming a stressful treadmill of drudgery and hassle.

And my health for one is suffering – weight up, happiness down, stress up. I used to go home and write papers, do research, read or even occasionally attend lectures.

Now I spend my evenings emotionally and physically wrung out and take the whole weekend to not quite recover by Monday. Something is going to give. No wonder so many GPs are now moving to part-time work.

Mr Seitz's statistics are as accurate as we know all Government health statistics to be – ie, useless.

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