GPS SICK OF IMPOSSIBLE WORKLOADS
You report “Practices at risk as GPs retire early” (News, last week), but the reason for this is that a GP partner’s workload is unlimited. I am 58 and my working day is 12 hours, with up to 50 patient contacts daily — 36 in surgery, 10-15 phone calls and one or two home visits, plus 30 letters and 40 results to act on. And that’s without the auditing, box-ticking, meetings and personal development that also need fitting in.
These problems are not coughs and colds but complex multiple chronic conditions in the elderly and social and mental health issues across the board — and 10 minutes is simply not enough. I will be retiring at the end of this year because I just don’t feel it’s physically possible to meet the demands.
Jane Roblin, Oxford
Keeping the doctor away
That a majority of GPs now leave at 55 is a sad reflection of the policies of successive governments. Senior GPs feel that their accumulated knowledge and experience is not appreciated. The seniority pay with which their experience was rewarded is being gradually reduced and will soon be stopped. There is no way for senior GPs to contribute to the system with their experience other than perhaps to sit on committees in which people other than GPs make the decisions anyway.
Further, they have to face time- consuming and meaningless appraisals and Care Quality Commission inspections of their practices. Medical defence costs are now so high for a senior GP employed part-time that not working makes sense.
Dr Bernard Fernando (recently retired), Gillingham