With the help of votes from NASGP members, I was voted on to council in 2017. This was my 4th council meeting. The good news is that there are now a few GPs on council with portfolio careers, most of whom are involved with out-of-hours services. This is the first in a series of blogs to keep NASGP members up to date with deliberations of relevance to sessional GPs.
The most important item for sessional GPs in my view was the review of the consultation for a Future Vision for General Practice, and I would encourage all sessional GPs to visit the RCGP website to contribute. You do not need to be a member to complete the survey. Sessional GPs have to be part of the future of primary care but this fact is rarely articulated.
The 2nd Annual Assessment of the GP Forward View (England) was reviewed. The main successes are
- How well the GP Health Service has been used. It is an important new service for GPs in need of support that does not have a limit on the number of GPs who can use it.
- The announcement of plans to introduce a state-backed indemnity scheme, although details are patchy.
- Changes to the Induction and Refresher Scheme have seen more GPs returning to practice through that route than previously.
However, many areas have seen little progress. The most notable is the target of 5,000 new GPs by 2020. The number of GPs leaving the profession was 1,300 more than have entered in the past year.
Council also be considered some important policy development papers including an updated paper on the College’s consultation on Decriminalisation of Abortion. The plans are for all RCGP members to be surveyed as to whether the college should take a position. There was topical discussion paper on the Use of Cannabis for Medicinal Purposes that should be available to members soon.
As a charity, RCGP cannot take a position on for or against Brexit, but the Midland faculty brought forward a motion for RCGP to align itself with other medical bodies who have warned that we need to prepare for the potential health consequences of the Brexit. These include potential shortages of medication, medical isotopes and NHS staffing levels. No formal vote was taken.
College membership continues to increase and the 2018 Annual Conference in Glasgow looks to have been the largest ever.
- Next RCGP Council – November 24th 2018