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CAMHS won't see you now


Dr Tonia Myers part-time partner in north-east London

Everybody in our practice is finding it tough. The workload's going up, the administration is

soaring. So I don't think people are going to want to commit to partnerships at the moment.

My feeling is that registrars are biding their time or doing salaried jobs because they don't want to do partnerships in the present climate.

If I was starting out now I wouldn't be looking for a partnership.

Our general experience is that it is hard to find locums. And practice staff have low morale because of the problems of dealing with the changes.

I have been practising for 13 years and I still enjoy the face-to-face contact of general practice. But if the current workload continues, like everyone else, it's difficult envisaging continuing until retirement age.

Dr Suraj Sharma a GMS GP in Liverpool for 25 years until he retired

last autumn, returning as a salaried PMS GP a month later

Recruitment and retention problems are not to do with the contract. They are more long-

standing issues.

The doctor shortage is still there, but the problem is that doctors my age from southern Asia like me are retired or about to retire. If the Government had thought about this 15 years ago this problem wouldn't have happened.

Recruiting doctors from the EU has gone some way to solving the problem.

Personally I'm in no hurry to retire again. I'm in my early 60s and I reckon that I have around 10 more years in me.

The new contract has gone part way to addressing recruitment problems, but it's still to early to say for sure.

Dr Rachel Pryke works in a practice in suburban Redditch,

Worcestershire ­ between eight partners they cover 14,000 patients

Everybody has been keeping an ear close to the ground to see if it's worth retiring early ­ but

there haven't been any pressing reasons. PMS has been very good for us, but at my husband's GMS practice they don't know how much they'll be paid from month to month.

We've found difficulties with getting locums as we have needed them to meet the 48-hour access target ­ we've just about scraped through.

We're losing partners over the next few years and that fills me with dread in terms of replacing them.

Having gone PMS has given us a lot more stability and that's a selling point for our practice over GMS practices. There are several German doctors doing out-of-hours locally but it's hard to judge what impact they have had.

For some people the end of out-of-hours has made people think that general practice is actually a 'do-able' job. We don't have a recruitment problem here in leafy Redditch, but we sometimes feel uncertainty about the quality of applicants.

Dr Paul Payne a GP in urban north-west Bristol ­ his PMS practice

has seven WTEs and covers 11,000 patients

I am 59 and am still thinking of retiring, but probably later than I would have done under the

old contract.

One of my equity partners has retired and we didn't want to replace her directly. Instead we've appointed a salaried GP. But Bristol is an attractive city and I don't think we'll have recruitment problems in future. We didn't have a massive number of applicants, but the quality was good.

I am concerned to see so many female applicants who want to work part-time. I don't think that as a practice we're doing badly under the new contract.

The area that is getting more competitive is locums. A partner wanted to go on a sabbatical but we were unable to get a locum to cover. It's the availability of people not the money that's the problem. Salaried posts are becoming more attractive and people don't want a career for life any more. They want to move around.

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