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A survey revealing that nearly half of all family doctors are planning early retirement shows the urgent need for changes to GP contracts, according to the NHS Confederation. The British Medical Association's survey is said to be the most extensive investigation of GP opinion in 10 years. Over 90 per cent of those questioned also wanted to see smaller waiting lists and longer consultations with their patients. Stephen Thornton, chief executive of the confederation, which is conducting negotiations with doctors over a new contract, said: 'The current contractual arrangements under which GPs work are no longer appropriate and must be changed.'