As a singlehander I didn't give my staff the sorts of bonuses bandied about in the media during the golden years of the new contract.
But I did give them all significant increases in their basic pay instead – which became their new baseline pay. I kept the rest.
Now the reverse is happening, it's time for me to take some of the pain – but still honour their now-modest pay increases of 1.5% across the board and increments for those members who aren't at the top of their scales already. This is relatively easy for me at 55 – with my mortgage paid off and my children coming to the end of their university years. Financially my wife and I are very comfortable.
It's not the same for the younger doctors in big practices with high domestic mortgages on properties worth less than they paid for them a few years ago, so I can understand the worries that falling income can create with fixed outgoings. But we shouldn't be squabbling among ourselves and with our staff when it's the bankers and their chums in politics who are to blame.
Let's have a go at the politicians and bankers, but we mustn't throw verbal bricks at one another.
From Dr Nigel Dickson