One of the professional competencies of doctors is to recognise where their knowledge, expertise and abilities lie. Forcing GPs to work to 65 will ride roughshod over this.
Many GPs over 60 will be competent, up to date and effective in working flat out, but many will not. What provision will be made for those GPs who cannot cope full time with the pressure of work that current general practice demands?
We should cherish the knowledge and expertise that these GPs have and be able to utilise it for the good of the NHS. Allowing retirement and flexible working without punishing the GP financially will be good for the NHS.
The public and Government need to recognise that by the age of 60, most GPs will have completed more hours of work than the majority of other people, whether public or private, and our pay does not recognise those hours or ‘piece’ work.
Lord Hutton’s report may make a lot of GPs’ futures very different.
From Dr Simon Ruffle
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