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‘Breach notice on my first day off with burnout’

I received a breach of contract notice when I took time off with burnout.

I felt I could not carry on any longer. I felt fatigued but I had the support of my own GP and the practice team.

The first breach notice was actioned due to no GP being in the building on the first day of my sick leave, when I was unable to find a locum. Our advanced nurse practitioner and prescribing nurses were there; any patients who couldn’t be managed by them were advised to attend A&E.

Many other Doncaster practices close for training one afternoon every other week – technically in breach of their contract. I am amazed NHS England overlooks this but served me with a breach notice on my first day off.

It took me four weeks to recover and by the sixth week, I started back in the practice. Since returning to work I have taken holiday but I cannot leave Doncaster in case the practice requires my presence. To avoid another breach, I have come in on days I had taken off.

These sanctions have knocked me back. I feel disillusioned and let down by the system. I do not feel valued for my contribution to general practice.

Dr Shahzad Arif is a GP in Doncaster