GPs want to work 9-5 and be like people in ‘most other jobs’ so they can devote time to family
- A statutory body says that GPs wanting families face indirect discrimination
- Currently, the core opening hours are 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday
- GPs say that other doctors would provide out of hours cover in new proposal
- A UK-wide conference of GPs voted against cutting core hours in March 2022
GPs are calling for their hours to be cut to 9am-5pm. The family doctors, who earn an average of £111,900 a year, say it is unfair to expect them to start earlier or finish later than ‘most other jobs’.
Representatives will vote on the proposals at the annual conference of England’s local medical committees this month and could lobby NHS England for the changes if passed.
Current core opening hours are 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday. The GPs say other doctors would provide out of hours cover.
The motion will be voted on by elected GPs at the annual conference of England’s local medical committees (LMCs).
The family doctors, who earn an average of £111,900 a year, say it is unfair to expect them to start earlier or finish later than ‘most other jobs’
NHS wants ANOTHER £7billion for budget
The £152billion-per-year health service is seeking an extra £7billion this year — the equivalent of an extra five per cent of its budget — to counter the effects of sky-high inflation , pay rises and Covid costs.
Finance chiefs have warned that vital cancer, mental health and GP services face being axed unless the Treasury stumps up the cash.
Rishi Sunak’s Government this week confirmed the NHS will not fall victim to funding cuts, set to be detailed in a fortnight.
But the health service, described by campaigners as being a ‘blackhole of taxpayer cash’, will have to overhaul its spending and operate more efficiently in return for having its cash protected, Whitehall insiders claim.
The statutory body is recognised as the professional organisation representing individual GPs and GP practices as a whole.
Its opinion helps shape British Medical Association policy and negotiations with NHS England regarding GP contracts, with a new contract due in April 2024.
A motion submitted to conference by Gateshead and Tyneside LMC describes core hours as a ‘relic of history’.
It calls on delegates to note ‘they total 52.5 hours per week, starting earlier and finishing later than most other jobs, including childcare’.
It adds: ‘They indirectly discriminate against GPs who wish to have families.
‘Due to the still-patriarchal nature of English society, this is discrimination that mostly affects female GPs.’
The motion, first revealed by GP magazine Pulse [must keep], calls for the hours to be cut to 9am to 5pm, but with practices to start earlier or finish later on ‘some days… in order to meet local need and practice ability to staff this’.
Surgeries are generally expected to offer a comprehensive service between core hours, although there is some degree of flexibility to account for local demand.
Some also take extra NHS funding to offer extended services, with earlier opening times and later closing times.
A UK-wide conference of GPs voted against cutting core hours in March this year, with delegates arguing it should be a matter for individual nations.