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At the heart of general practice since 1960

Will NHS England's workforce plan work?

A panel of GPs give their verdict on NHS England’s £10m plan to tackle the GP workforce crisis.

The future GP

Chantal Cox - online

The 10-point plan is a good idea in theory, but it will take much more than this influx of money. It is good to put the money in now, but you need to keep putting it in and reviewing the situation.

You need to ask the GPs on the shop floor what would keep them in the job. You would assume that future GPs would want the same thing.

 As for working in a deprived area, I get the impression patients in such areas demand more of us as clinicians.

 I can see the appeal of the financial incentives, but a broader approach would be more advantageous in the long-term. A decision to work in an under-doctored area would be influenced by lots of factors.

Chantal Cox-George is a fourth year medical student at the University of Bristol.

 

The overseas GP

Gaurav TEwary

This is definitely not enough. This is simply saying ‘we’ll give you some more money’. That is not why I left. I probably earn less here.

I would like the things I didn’t like before I left to change. Removing political interference would be the first thing that could tempt me back.

They’ll probably send you to under- doctored areas as a single-handed GP, replacing retiring GPs. We know those are the worst-performing practices. They’ll give you a bit of money for a couple of years, but then what?

I love the NHS. But I have seen a system here in Australia that really works. If you allow GPs to work as clinicians, they can deliver a lot more. I’ve seen that here.

Dr Gaurav Tewary is a GP in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia. He was previously a GP partner in Coventry.

 

The retiring GP

Hadrian Moss Duo 330x330

My retirement plans are set in reinforced concrete that would take a good dose of Semtex to break apart. 

The 10-point plan has many positive aspects and making general practice more appealing to younger doctors can’t be a bad thing.

However, every GP of my generation has lived through these ideas before, and its saddening how often the same ideas are repeated.

I actually don’t want more money.  What I really want is a job that allows me to do what I do best, to treat people and not targets and to give me time and resources to do it properly when I’m not knackered by the long hours and incessant demand for more.

My concrete plans are still intact.

Dr Hadrian Moss is a GP in Kettering, Northamptonshire.

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Readers' comments (11)

  • Everyone says they don't want more money . This is just humbug . A politically correct smokescreen . Pay them and they will come .

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  • In a word NO,a snowball in hells chance of working sucessfully.

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  • @ 9:32 - yes and no. If there was more money so that I could maintain my income but have less hours work i.e. normal hours work as far as most people are concerned, then that is possible. However, chucking more money at the situation without changing the working conditions isn't going to help

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  • After retiring worn out at age 59 in 2014 there isn't enough money in the coffers to tempt me back. Work-life balance was non existant during the last years of my working life.

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  • It is all about feeling valued. Everyone has different drivers to do what they do. For some it is money others it is job satisfaction. When there is little ability to earn and poor work life balance because of the pressures it is little wonder schemes like this don't work in the long term. The issue is the perception that General Practice can just absorb more work because it helps with savings elsewhere. The issue is the capacity and willingness to do the extra work, even if it is funded. Sadly the loudest wheel gets the most oil, and what is most politically expedient drives the agenda. Until Primary Care is valued by all, the paymasters, politicians and public, then nothing will convince doctors to become or remain GP's.

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  • My experience this morning:
    HCA taking on more and more unachievable tasks to earn QOF and other "incentives".
    No communication for said HCA (or anyone else) to convey they too, as well as the GPs are working flat out.
    No consideration that as fast as one incentive arrives, another has to fly out of the window.

    I was optimistic and "workforce change" meant ALL review of primary care workforce, but sadly, all the focus is on GPs and that many expect no interference to get with their "private business".

    General practice is EVERYONE's business and should be so, not down to individual employers to dictate, abuse or occasionally support recommended good employment practice.

    I think the whole thing should become a social enterprise service and not just rely on one branch of health professionals to perceive they are all knowing and trained in everything (especially management) to know all the answers.

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  • The issue is not about money.GP service cannot be paid enough, no matter how much. It is respect, appreciation, a free thank you, control abuse and intimidation by patients for whom we keep awake nights.
    It is UK media and politicians who have allowed GPs to be treated the way we are being treated.
    The 10 point plan is not going to improve the detachment we have developed

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  • It is about workload and pay and money which is value and worth. Barristers here in NI earn over 1 million on legal aid, one legal Firm made more than 2.5 million. Judges still pay 3 %, GPs have been hiked to 28%.
    Profit per patient is £ 60/ year at over 6 consultations that is less than £10. Factor in 40% paperwork and we get £ 6 per consultation.
    We have 26 LES/DES and 26 audits to do this year. In spite of QOF, LES, DES etc pay has fallen 25% from £80 profit per patient year in 10 years.
    In spite of doing 90% of face to face consultations on 8% of the budget, we have to do more.
    It is like 2004, they give you some money then they take it all away, impose Contracts, remove seniority , MPIG and on and on.
    Please, I am leaving, it is unbearable. Do not, please do not be tempted by fool's gold. They will find some way to make you work harder and harder and then take the money away.
    Stay away from General Practice and let it fold. It deserves to. If they can find people to see patients at £6 a pop, let them find such GPs who do not value their years of training for so little.
    I tell people who think we are lazy and overpaid - hey why do you not become one?

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  • I agree with those who have commented aabove bout both the need for better financing of General Practice as well as reducing the bureaucratic and regulatory burden. "Golden Hellos" were effective in the past but short-lived. We need a comprehensively different approach in GP now which supports a multidisciplinary team as well as valuing the practitioner-patient relationship. An uplift of capitation payments to a minimum of £130 per pt per year (then add deprivation on top) would be a good start, linked to safe and sustainable Dr-Pt ratios to provide 100 consults (including telephone etc) per 1000 pts per week which is the current demand.

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  • It is not about money. Treat us half-decently and I would cancel my retirement. Three months to go.

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