Dr Di Aitken: ‘We are paid less than our salaried GP’
Lambeth GP Dr Di Aitken explains how a PMS review has threatened patient services and cut partner earnings
We switched to a PMS contract in 2001 and our original objectives closely matched Lambeth’s health needs at that time.
But last year, we were called to a meeting.
We were given a presentation and at the end of the meeting we were given an envelope telling us how much we were going to lose.
Ours was £179,000. It was a huge chunk of our funding.
The funds cut were spent on clinical staff and now we and our patient access and services are hurting. We are the second-largest practice in our borough, with some of the highest needs in the UK.
We have extremely high consultation rates due to the high disease prevalence rates, particularly mental health issues.
We are still providing these services, but we are having to fund it with different methods. The clinical need doesn’t go away just because the money goes away.
We [the partners] are now being paid less than our salaried GP, and I know that is not unusual because I am part of a peer support group and it is the same across the board.
We didn’t cut the nurses’ pay. These two outreach nurses were paid for by the PMS funding, which then disappeared.
They were doing work with frail, elderly people with long-term conditions, just the services that are needed now that more hospital work is shifting to be carried out in the community.
We are having another pay cut this month – it is going to be a reduction of around 40%.
We do good things, but we now have our arms tied behind our backs.
Dr Di Aitken is a GP in Lambeth, south London
In a statement issued to Pulse, NHS Lambeth said: ‘Our review has given us the opportunity to refocus and better incentivise the provision of primary care contracts to be more closely aligned towards our priority health goals which seek to address the highest health needs in Lambeth, as prioritised by local people and health professionals.’