14 AGENDA COMMITTEE as proposed by DERBYSHIRE: That conference notes the catastrophic retention crisis in the primary care workforce and demands that NHS England immediately restores a fully funded and accessible occupational health service for GPs and their staff, including:
- bespoke mental health and psychological support
- equity of access for freelance/locum GPs.
114c THE GPC: That the GPC seeks the views of conference on the following motion from the GP trainees subcommittee: That conference calls on the GPC to ensure that all freelance/locum GPs are entitled to free occupational health services.
Throw a stone at any crowd of GPs and you'll hit one who's burning out. If you're lucky, they'll already be taking steps to mitigate their stress by speaking to their partners, seeking help, considering their options, most likely already taking steps to work as an independent or chambers locum. But there's a good chance that they're soldiering on, doing the best they can do to keep their practice afloat, but never-the-less slowly-but-surely heading towards that brick wall called burnout.
If there was an occupational health service for GPs, no doubt many would be urged to use it by their colleagues and their exit from the profession - either temporarily or permanently - would be accelerated. No doubt it would hasten the demise of general practice, but there'd be less GP morbidity.
And of course it's only right that such a service extends to locum GPs, because we're general practitioners too, seeing NHS patients and supporting NHS GP practices.
LMC Conference 2015