RCGP has overlooked sessional GPs

24th November 2014 by NASGP

RCGP reportOur college has just published its findings from their independent inquiry into patient centred care in the 21st century, chaired by former NHS Confederation Chief Executive Mike Farrar.

It’s all good stuff, and draws on over 80 written evidence submissions and discussions with more than 50 individuals from a broad range of health, care and patient organisations.

Amongst its recommendations are that Nice needs to roll out guidelines around the management of patients with multiple conditions; CCGs and practices need to get themselves organised into GP federations and work more closely together; more money; better use of patient feedback; integrated IT systems that talk to each other, and patient-centered care.

You can read all of this and more in the Royal College of General Practitioner’s (RCGP) full report.

Sadly, there’s not one mention of how sessional GPs fit into this new vision, possibly because no sessional GPs were involved. With anything up to 17,000 GPs working as locums in the UK, and similar numbers of salaried GPs, it somewhat diminishes the report’s credibility when it comes to how, and who, will deliver these changes.

Practices, and forthcoming federations, are the building blocks of general practices, and it’s sessional GPs that form a significant part of the cement that hold them together. Working flexibly, often part-time, across dozens of different GP surgeries, often in adverse conditions of isolation and enforced underperformance, sessional GPs need to be part of the solution.

It’s the year 2014, and it’s time sessional GPs were involved. Any proposed solutions to the current crisis in general practice have to actively incorporate sessional GPs, and have to reflect significant changes in the GP workforce.

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Dr Chloe Evans, Oxford

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