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We must fight for rights of GPs with families



Does your employer, trust, deanery or training programme consider your family circumstances sympathetically?

How do they fare with regard to maternity locum payments, treatment of salaried doctors and the availability of training that is less-than-full-time?

To assess the current situation, the Medical Women’s Federation has organised a survey for GPs and hospital doctors, looking at a series of issues that affect us all.

• Does your PCT or clinical commissioning group provide maternity locum payments when one of your partners is on maternity leave?

In the current climate of imploding PCTs and financial austerity, these payments are seen as an easy target. A pregnant woman or her practice can be left to cover all locum payments when she is on maternity leave, a move that surely discourages practices from employing women of childbearing age.

• If you are a salaried doctor do you have a contract of employment with terms at least as generous as the BMA model contract?

Many GP partners complain the terms of the model contract are too generous and create a financial burden to practices. Private companies that run some practices are known to be less than perfect in the treatment of their salaried staff.

• What will happen when deaneries disappear or become subsumed within other organisations? Will their priorities remain the same?

One of the important roles of deaneries is the organisation of less-than-full-time training. This will come under threat if the health bill is passed.

These are no longer issues just for women doctors. Some 40% of female doctors are married to other doctors, and many fathers are also involved in childcare.

Complete the survey here and for more information visit: medicalwomensfederation.org.uk

The deadline for submissions is the end of the month. The results will be published – and it is hoped that this will encourage the less well-performing employers and trusts to change their behaviour in the future.