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It’s enough to drive me away from retirement


I know, yes, hilarious isn’t it? Capita’s contract has been extended. That fish in that barrel has already been shot by our esteemed editor, so let’s give them a break, shall we? Besides, it is only for another £94m, and what does that buy in this era of rampant inflation? And it’s only for another three years, which is only a bit longer than the average pandemic these days, albeit probably twice as damaging.

Besides, another news story caught my eye – the one about Pulse’s survey revealing that half of the existing GP workforce plans to retire at or before 60. No great surprises there.

Though it does fit very neatly with the Capita story. Because PCSE, the organisation responsible for primary care, ahem, support (that’s what the name says), and operated by GPs favourite private outsource company, seems to be as on top of pensions as I am of an acutely leaking aortic aneurysm.

So that’s how the inexplicable is explained. The Government has finally realised that in the absence of 5,000 new GPs down the back of a sofa, it’ll simply have to stop the retirement tsunami Pulse’s survey is predicting. Solution? Reappoint Capita for another few years. That way, retiring, or attempting to, will be even more stressful for GPs than carrying on working.

It’s almost like they know what they’re doing.

Dr Tony Copperfield is a GP in Essex. Read more of Copperfield’s blogs at


Truth Finder 10 June, 2022 5:59 pm

£94million is nothing compared to the £4billion of useless PPEs that will be burnt. Just think when the CCG ask us to save the pennies.

Dave Haddock 11 June, 2022 8:40 am

Crapita are indeed utterly Crap.
Don’t bet on getting your pension in any reasonable time scale.

Jonathan Heatley 13 June, 2022 12:08 pm

they stopped paying my pension in oct 2021 8 months ago and despite constant phone calls I am getting nowhere.
Imagine if we GPs witheld drugs or treatment that a patient needed – we would be hauled before every imaginable committee to be abused and punished. Is it any wonder our morale is low and fallling.

David Church 13 June, 2022 3:33 pm

There seems to be some scope for opportunity here for Jeremy Hunt to gain some support from, er, GPs, if you can believe that, in that he might personally take on sorting some of these cases of breach of contract and likely fraud in not paying pensions that are due?
Do you think he is listening?
Or off watering the ‘magic GP tree’ in the back garden of Number 12?

John Evans 14 June, 2022 4:55 am

I moved out of NHS scheme in 2013.
I also claimed early pension in 2021-2022 as the inflation rate was obviously going to rise. I was one of the 1000s who did so.

Even in my case the lifetime allowance saving will be around 60-70000.
If I was still contributing then the annual penalties for just 2 years would have doubled the punishment. I would have paid more in penalties than I would have earned working full time.

At 5-10 percent inflation, continuing in the NHS scheme will leave GPs working for a pittance. Even stopping contributions and retaining a dormant fund opens up very many GPs to a huge liability at retirement.

Get a calculator out and do your own sums. My hourly rate for working next year would have been £12.

I like many colleagues worked the first 7 years as a junior Dr effectively been paid just 60 of the 100 hours worked each week. Even then those hours were paid at a rate lower than factory worker neighbours. The other 30-40 hours were unpaid despite being in clerking patients, taking bloods, etc. I am therefore disinclined to carry on.

Good luck for those having to slog on.

David jenkins 18 June, 2022 11:44 am

get out of nhs pension scheme. come to locumland.

set your own fees, work as much or as little as you wish. take holidays when you want. if practices misbehave or take the p*ss then simply don’t go back there. go home at proper time. no late nights, no silly audits, no weekend catch-up-paperwork sessions, no silly edicts from NHSE or that silly girl or similar.

ok, there is a downside that work can be haphazard, but i’ve been doing it after i was forced to take early retirement in 2007, and i’m as happy as a pig in shit. i’m 72, and working off one lung. if i wasn’t enjoying it, i wouldn’t be doing it.

lovely chatting – but i’ve got some welding to do on my 1939 wolseley ten.

good luck to those of you staying.