This funding uplift is not going to be sufficient to keep my practice afloat. We are now looking actively to close the practice, sell it or join a group.
My personal income is down by 30%, but I have not cared about this. The painful impact is on patient care, as we have had to put services on hold and the waiting times for appointments are getting longer.
I could go on about this but we do expect to see appointment waits keep getting longer, from up to a week to two or even three weeks as we will be forced to cut locum doctors.
We intend to stop removing sutures for a start, which we have done over the years without any payment, investing money from our pockets in suture kits to help patients.
We may need to reconsider a few other services after seeing what uplift we get per patient from reshuffling of MPIG, the QOF and seniority pay funds.
We have taken a cut and given a raise to our staff in two increments of 7% over the past year because we feel that our staff have been wonderful and worked through really difficult conditions.
We have trained them to multi-task and they have taken on the responsibilities of healthcare assistants and phlebotomists, and all of them do the stop smoking service.
We explained that the increase was in two increments because the practice had to absorb the impact gradually.
This uplift is discouraging to say the least – we are balancing on the edge of the precipice. I suspect practice closures will gain momentum in the coming months.
Dr Sanjeev Juneja is a GP in Rochester, Kent