Junior Doctors and You
You may have noticed that General Practice has an image problem.
And a recruitment problem. The national picture is worse in the East Midlands. The East Midlands problem is worst in Lincolnshire. Only 15 out of 37 GP training posts were filled in Lincolnshire this year. So Spilsby is very fortunate at this moment to have a full complement of GPs and GP Registrars. Many of you will be familiar with our Registrar Dr Divya Kuttappan, and we look forward to being joined in December 2015 by Registrar Dr Liz Marchant.
Dr Kieran Sharrock, when he’s not at Spilsby Surgery, is Medical Director for Lincolnshire Local Medical Committee, which in the last year has launched an innovative recruitment drive promoting the benefits of training and working as a GP in Lincolnshire to doctors nationwide and beyond.
Spilsby Surgery is therefore very concerned to see these efforts undermined by the Department of Health’s initial proposals that GP registrars – qualified doctors undertaking specialist training to become GPs – risk a 31% cut in their total pay. The British Medical Association describes a subsequent DH offer to increase their basic pay by 11% as ‘misleading’. Their junior hospital colleagues face changes to working hours that they fear will harm their patients and their family lives. This poses a new and greater threat to the future of GP and hospital services in Lincolnshire.
In the three years that Spilsby Surgery has been a GP training practice, our patients have benefited from the skills and motivation of a number of excellent junior doctors. As our patients’ care needs and our workload increase year on year, it’s difficult to imagine how the Surgery would function without them.
Junior doctor members of the British Medical Association are being balloted on industrial action. It’s not a decision that these dedicated doctors will take lightly. Spilsby Surgery hopes that the Department of Health will offer all junior doctors the assurances they seek to avoid industrial action and agree a negotiated contract settlement.