The Clinical Assessment Service (CCAS) is 300 GPs short and has restarted recruitment to fill the shortfall, Pulse reports.
In a recent newsletter for clinicians seen by Pulse, the CCAS said it has started to bring GPs back to work for the hotline and is ‘looking to recruit more GP capability’ due to ‘rising’ call volumes.
Many NASGP members have worked for, applied for and considered working for CCAS, particularly given the fact that the work is remote and therefore suitable for GPs who are shielding, or at higher risk from Covid-19.
But the NASGP has already warned members that GPs working for the service have alleged pay problems, with some waiting months for pay, and its rota system makes it hard for GP locums to plan other work.
Even for GP locums paid on time, rates have been described as ‘appalling’.
But with nurses now blocked from CCAS work following clinical safety concerns, and Covid-19 rates rising, the service faces a spike in demand and a shortfall of willing call handlers.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, says: “Now that the second wave of Covid is well on its way, CCAS must change to either a proper employment contract with equitable pay, or allow GPs to be engaged by the service on the locums’ usual self-employed contractual basis.”