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Dr George Paige: 'I will cut my commitments when I hit 60'

Plummeting income and increasingly political pressures on his clinical workload are why I want to retire early, says Dr George Paige

I am 99% certain I’ll take 24-hour retirement, and cut my commitments when I hit 60 years.

I’m entitled to a full pension, so that’s almost certainly a given. Whether I take full retirement, or come back as a partner or salaried. I don’t know.

I have been a GP for 30 years, and I had always expected to work to 65 years. I still enjoy dealing with patients, but the screw on general practice income has taken its toll.

My income is going down and down since the second year of GMS 2, and it looks like it’s going to keep on going down. General practice is being set up to be the fall guy for the changes in the NHS, saying money has improved the service, even though we’re going to give you a lot less money.

For a year or two we did fine, but then political and public health started taking over the QOF and political winds started taking over something that was supposed to be purely evidence based. For instance, we run a practice of 10,000 patients and we had to go searching for a single patient, trying to get our QOF points for osteoporosis. They are attempting to apply population rules to small populations, which doesn’t work.

I recently resigned from being a trainer, because I couldn’t stand the paper work, but I still love training. But couldn’t stand all the e-portfolio stuff.

Dr George Paige is a GP in Coventry

Readers' comments (8)

  • Peter Swinyard

    try finding the elusive osteoporotic in a practice half your size! Agree with all sentiments expressed here.

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  • Good luck enjoy your time now, general practice is a joke now, I took my retirement few yrs ago after we'll over 30years full time work as GP , now it seems no dignity as a doctor, no respect, where all these rubbish paper works going to end + meetings meetings and meetings , good luck to new doctors .

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  • This is all so very sad reading but totally understandable. The profession and 'art of medicine' have been eroded so severely that just now fulfilling successive governments whims to earn votes.
    If a GP actually does what trained for and devotes consultation time to patients concerns and addresses patients issues then income affected as not ticked all those QoF boxes!!! by asking questions which no bearing on why patient attended in first place and can actually harm doctor/patient relationship
    GP's still top list who public trust yet we are allowing our profession to be dictated to by bunch of bullying thugs who have no concern for individual patients we see daily but with their own little empires and power they wield
    Salaried workforce round the corner (which what wanted in 1948)

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  • I have just taken VER aged 55 years and it is a wonderful feeling. Just read the latest NHS Pensions Newsletter and pleased to see we get a 5.2% pay rise this year after RPI calculations. Cannot remember when I last got a pay rise that equalled inflation when I was seeing patients!

    Best bit is no revaluation, no CCGs, no CQCs, no QOF, no appraisals and telling the GMC that with much regret you will no longer be giving them any of your money. Ditto the MDU.

    All I would so is come on in the water is lovely and good luck to those left behiind!

    Must go I've got a plane to catch. Shall I come back in June or July ?

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  • After 30 years in general practice I have just taken my 24 hr retirement just short of my 59th b'day. Am off this morning (extra hr in bed, that's a start). When I think about what I do best and what makes a difference to patients it has nothing to do with QOF, CQC, etc. It's just being there for my patients (though sadly not this morning), being their confidante, listening to their concerns, helping them through their hard times, their bereavements, stresses, relationship breakdowns, unemployment and its consequences, dealing with depression (oh, I think there's a QOF point there !) their drug and alcohol problems., etc etc. The government have always conveniently disregarded the vast time and effort we put in to dealing with the huge swathe of psychological morbidity out there ( & brought on in many cases by their own policies). No QOF points for being an empathic Dr then !
    It is a sad to see general practice disintegrating, as the leading edge of a '
    ''workforce iceberg" constantly crashes into the sea, eroding traditional general practice into oblivion. We all know the government don't give a sh*t that they are losing a generation of highly experienced GPs who are leaving their vocation prematurely to spend more time walking through national trust gift shops (and the occasional cruise). So I fully empathise with the Dr George Paige, what a waste of skill sets ! Now off to check my lottery ticket so I can give up the other half of my remaining hours.

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  • We had the same problem in our practice of 9000+ patients.There was a patient under 75 who had low trauma fracture but did not have oteoporosis on DEXA scan. We did all the necessary work but still lost 3 points.Crazy bureacracy.

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  • George, it pays financially (and spiritually) to go part time before 60, and start collecting your pension. It takes quite a few years. (8 in my case) to reach the equilibrium point when you would have been better off financially. It really only pays to stay to 60 if you are likely to live to a very good age, so benefitting from the slightly increased pension.However, my view is that you should enjoy your money now whilst your young, as the taxman or social services (if you end your days in a retirement home) will get it in the end ! So go early buy the Jag with your lump sum, and put yourself 1st for once !
    Titus Duxass

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  • zvd

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