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Case study, Dr Rosemary MacRae: ‘We are worn out’

‘We are worn out’

We planned to take on a new partner this year, but that was based on this year’s income. It’s getting harder and home life is suffering. It’s difficult to plan ahead when the contract changes year after year. We’re worn out. We’re not going to take any action that will harm the patient, so what can we do?

We thought we’d agreed a contract in 2004 but it’s been changed year on year. We’ve got a choice between suffering financially or taking on everything thrown at us. I have my doubts about the usefulness of some of the work: dementia screening – how useful is that going to be? It takes time to do properly.

We don’t feel we can take on more work, but the Government expects us to do more for the same money. Work is just added; nothing is dropped. Not paying us for the organisational work to release money for the additional stuff doesn’t mean we can stop doing it. We’re doing 11-hour days already and weekends.

Dr Rosemary MacRae is a GP in St Helens, Merseyside

Click here to read our investigation ‘GPs at breaking point’