GPs ‘paid £1,500 a night for A&E shifts’


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GPs are paid almost £1,500 a shift to work at nights and weekends plugging staff shortages in Accident and Emergency units, it has emerged. Family doctors – who can opt out of treating their own patients late at night or at weekends – are able to earn up to £120 an hour in working in overloaded A&E departments. A lack of out-of-hours services through GP surgeries has been blamed for growing numbers of people turning up at A&E for treatment. Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act, following a survey by the Daily Mail, shows that doctors can earn hourly rates varying from £50 an hour in Merseyside to £100 in Portsmouth. One recruitment firm pays GPs £120 an hour for a 12-hour shift – a total of £1,440 – at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. It comes after a poll found that a third of GPs think the public should be charged to attend A&E to deter those who do not need to do so. A study in 2011 estimated that unnecessary A&E visits are costing the NHS over £100 million a year.

Roger Goss, of the campaign group Patient Concern, told the paper: “GPs can’t be prepared to turn out for their own patients but they are happy to work elsewhere for a lot more money. “So much for the interests of the patients, it’s the interests of the doctors which are paramount. “The reason patients are going to A&E is because they can’t get into their own surgery.” Meanwhile figures from the European Commission suggested that Britain has fewer working doctors per head of population than almost all other EU country. The UK had 2.71 practising doctors for every 1,000 people – fewer than countries including Bulgaria, Estonia and Latvia.

View the original article here

However, in reality the true fact is GP’s earn premium rate per hour they yet do not do their jobs properly. When patients go to their GP they ushered to hurry up and can only complain about one medical condition they have. A secret which was later found out, they have a 10 minute timeframe. This is just pathetic.

GP’s call for £5 fee to prevent patients from abusing A&E

A news report / article in the Metro newspaper (London, 3 January 2014) says that time-wasters should be charged for visiting A&E. Well, one must ask who is the ‘time-waster’ or the actual problem-causer or what the actual cause of the problem is. Whether it’s a minor or urgent problem you can never get an appointment with a GP. There is usually a two week wait because they don’t have enough appointments to see another patient. On top of that if one doctor is not available with appointments patients are not allowed to see another GP in the same practice even though they have central records on computer and manually. That is just not simply pathetic. On top of that while employees in all other different jobs work late, in the evenings and night, GP’s don’t. So, who is the actual cause of the so-called ‘time-waster’ ? Is it not the GP’s ? This is GP’s going back on their own word which is also known as hypocrisy.

GP’s have a lovely cushy job in their snug office(s). Most of the time it has been observed GP’s walking around moving bits of paper from one place to another or drinking coffee. Drinking coffee or eating or relaxing is not bad but they are simply not working hard enough or doing their job properly. Working hard means staying late and seeing patients and opening on weekends. We all have families and life outside work – GP’s are not any special that they should earn premium hourly salary and not do their work properly. Out of hours doctors exists but they are useless, they are very limited on what they can do because they don’t have patients full medical record so they must go to their GP. So once again it is a ‘cat & mouse’  game of running after an appointment.

Many 100% true incidents have been observed. One example is, in one surgery in East London a doctor has been found snoozing because not many patients go to see him. Immediately upon opening the door for an appointment it had been noticed his immediate state what he was doing before. In another example, in the same surgery a new doctor which also does not have many patients going to her had a mini iPad under her desk. During a consultation with that doctor it was soon realised there were very faint sounds coming from somewhere upon observation it was soon realised there was mini iPad under the table with itv on.

In general doctors just do not work hard enough. They take too long to do write-ups, make notes, their computers do not always work properly or are slow, and some doctors type with two fingers only. Moreover, GP’s do not work as hard as hospital doctors. GP’s should be given a kick up their backside to get a move on and stop being lazy, they are not very efficient at all. GP’s do not try and work hard enough. If GP’s worked hard enough they would work late and see more patients, this would reduce the need for patients to go to A&E. It is the GP’s which are the cause of time-wasters. Instead of charging patients visiting A&E GP’s salaries should be cut as a disciplinary measure until they are up to their job.

It can also be argued why is all this happening ? To put it shortly and bluntly – whoever is responsible at the top, be it the PCT (Primary Care Trust) or NHS – are lax in their service. GP’s do not have a line manager or supervisor to oversee them like in other jobs. The practice manager is only responsible for the overall running of the surgery, not ushering them to get a move on or stay open late or open on weekends.

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7 thoughts on “GPs ‘paid £1,500 a night for A&E shifts’

  1. Hello- Interested to read your article- “GP’s dont do their jobs properly”- I’m a GP. Your article is nonsense. I work an 11- 12 hr day like most GP’s. You mentioned in your article the fact that the UK has fewer doctors than virtually every other EU country (and spends less money on healthcare than the EU average) I see 40 patients per day at 10 minute intervals- NB I agree that this is not enough time but that is what we are told to do by the Dept of Health. That means 400 minutes which is 7 hrs per day (including “extras”). Add to this about 10-15 telephone calls per day, house calls, referrals, looking at letters from hospital and analysing blood results and taking action on these and you have a 12 hr day. Your stories about GP’s having a sleep or watching ITV may be true but are anecdotal and if you seriously think that that is the norm then you are mistaken. As for pay- my 12 hr working day (7am-7pm) works out at about £35 per hour and like most GP’s I work far more hours than hospital consultants. Just how many hours per day would you like me to work?- 16? 24? And if you want me to see more patients then I’ll have to see twice as many people at 5 minute intervals? The only solution is more doctors but of course that wont happen as it will be expensive and it’s much easier engaging in GP bashing.

    1. The article may be non-sense but that is the true reality from a patients point of view. Patients have to wait for upto two weeks to see a doctor and won’t be allowed to see any other doctor if there is one available before the two weeks. A&E won’t accept them unless it is life threatening, and out of hours doctors just tell you to go back to your own GP when you can’t get to them. So, must a medical condition turn in to a life threatening emergency before a doctor can see a patient ? This is exactly the current siutation and doctors just dont see it from a patients point of view.

      1. Thanks for your reply. Sorry but it’s naive. I think it’s insulting for you to accuse GP’s working 12 hr days of not working hard enough. Primary Care is like an overcrowded train. We need more doctors just like an overcrowded train needs more carriages. So we either need more doctors unless you want me to work 16 hr days but don’t dare blame GP’s for not working as hard as they can. And PS sorry but I have to admit that I grabbed a sandwich at lunchtime
        And bolted down a coffee at 3pm. I appreciate that you think that doctors should eat drink or use the toilet while workin but it’s hard when you’re working from 7am to 7pm. What really annoys me is the attitude of people who clearly don’t have a clue.

      2. Thank you, your reply has been noted however, I do wish you see things from a patients point of view. Its like a frustrated cat chasing its own tail. There is a constant rush to reserve appointments before the next patient gets to it and I know many people just reserve appointments in case they dont get appointments when they want, don’t you think what is happening is ridiculous ? Maybe you are not in such a busy area but where we are this is how it is. Doctor working overtime should not be a problem on their huge salary because this is not a problem in other countries as patients can see a their doctor whenever they want

  2. PS re efficiency- Only 8% of the total NHS budget is spent on Primary Care. The cost of a GP consultation to the NHS is about £25- please let me know if you find any private GP providers who charge less. You may not be aware that the consultation rate (i.e. the average number of visits a patient makes to the GP) is now 6 per year and GP’s are paid about £100 per year per patient. And you dont think that that is value for money?

  3. “Maybe I’m not in a busy practice?” Sorry. Didn’t you read that I see 40 people per day and work 12 hrs per day. There just aren’t enough GPhours to meet demand and I don’t think I could work more than I’m doing already. Funding for Primary Care has fallen from 10.5% of the NHS budget in 2004 to 8.5% last year. So blaming GP’s that there are not enough appointments is like blaming a train driver that there aren’t enough carriages if a train is overcrowded.
    I appreciate your point stating that it’s from a patients point if view but I don’t know how I can see more patients than I am doing unless you want me to see people at 5 minute intervals. We need more funding in Primary Care but it’s much easier for politicians to constantly blame GP’s like myself who are working FAR more hours than most hospital colleagues.

    Please let me know what you want me to do- work 16 hours per day? (by the way I’m not a machine)

  4. We need more surgeries with more GP’s opening up in every community. At the moment when you want urgent medical care there is no doctor at hand. When you go to the out of hours service you get turned away! Pathetic!

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