The Government has started to remove admin constraints for GP returners in an effort to attract GPs to the Covid-19 vaccination effort in England, Pulse reports.
Returners looking to work on the vaccine drive no longer need to be on the Performers list, or complete recent training on safeguarding or equality and diversity.
Meanwhile, sessional GPs report that their own applications to become vaccinators are languishing in the system.
Others have told the NASGP that they had been asked to work for free at Covid-19 vaccination clinics.
One GP locum told NASGP that they had been offered two sessions at a vaccination clinic. At first they were told it would be paid, but the rate was not confirmed. After doing one clinic, the GP locum was asked to work ‘pro bono’ or invoice ‘an amount they think is appropriate’.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “Although it is vital to support the vaccination programme wherever possible, this ‘quick, simple and cheap’ approach of papering over the cracks by fast-tracking retired GPs is no substitute for engagement with the existing sessional GP workforce.
“I think GPs also need to ask themselves why highly skilled professionals on the frontline are expected to work for free.”
Earlier this month health secretary Matt Hancock told a House of Commons health and social care committee evidence session: “I understand the workforce pressures, hence we’re trying to bring more people in and I’ve taken out a whole series of the – I thought – overburdensome training requirements.”