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Chippenham GP surgeries back doctors' protest action
3:19pm Monday 18th June 2012 in Chippenham
The Chippenham Surgeries Rowden, Hathaway and The Lodge have issued a joint statement regarding the proposed doctors’ protest action on Thursday June 21.
It says: "The GPs who look after the population of Chippenham would like to confirm that they support the action of their medical colleagues in their national protest against the Government’s handling of the NHS Pension changes, which have resulted in national outrage.
The main reason for this outrage is that, despite a fully comprehensive and fair review of NHS Pensions in 2008, the Government has suddenly taken a unilateral decision to turn the NHS Pension into a tax system in order to raise money for the national deficit, rather than a system to enable NHS employees to fund the requirements of the NHS pension system. This appears to disadvantage all hard working NHS workers compared to other employees in the civil service and perhaps even MPs and Government Ministers themselves.
Hospital doctors are employees and have fixed working hours which have to comply with the European Working time directive and therefore are in a position to work to rule.
Most general practitioners are self employed, do not work fixed working hours and indeed often work hours which exceed the European Working time directive, and have an open ended contract to look after the health of their patients. We are therefore not in a position to work to rule without compromising that care.
Therefore we would like to reassure our patients that, whilst we strongly oppose the policies that the government is imposing on the pension of all NHS workers, e.g. doctors, nurses, cleaners, secretaries and administrators including the Chief Executive, as far as our patients are concerned, it will be ‘business as usual’ for general practices in Chippenham.
Patients should not experience any scheduled disruption in accessing their local primary health services over the next two weeks."