Bonuses for out-of-hours GPs30th January 2007
Two out of three patients would rather see their own GP at night, according to the government which is set to introduce incentives for out-of-hours working.
The national patient survey, commissioned by the Department of Health also revealed almost nine out of 10 patients now see their GP within 48 hours.
Now GPs could be offered incentives to return to working anti-social hours, which they signed away responsibility for under the new contracts introduced in 2004.
The vast majority of family doctors signed the new contracts, which removed their responsibility to cover nights between 6.30pm and 8am and weekends.
Now doctors could be offered bonuses to provide cover, raising criticism that GPs had already seen their pay rise dramatically through the new contract.
GPs now earn on average £100,000, thanks to performance-linked bonuses, which pay out for providing certain services such as flu jabs.
But the government said GP opening hours should reflect patient needs, and pledged to look at ways to improve access using the GP contract to provide incentives.
GP pay deals are renegotiated annually.
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Title: Bonuses for out-of-hours GPs
Author: Sue Knights
Article Id: 1877
Date Added: 30th Jan 2007