End of self-isolation rule creates postcode lottery for GP terms on safe work

13th August 2021 by NASGP

End of self-isolation rule creates postcode lottery for GP terms on safe work

GP partners have urged caution as the Government lifts the order for people to self-isolate after contact with a COVID-19 case, Pulse reports.

People who have had both COVID-19 vaccinations, and all under-18s, can take a PCR but are not obliged to stay away from others.

GPs told Pulse they have a responsibility to potentially vulnerable patients and will be keeping measures in place where they can.

Dr Richard Cook, a GP in West Sussex, told Pulse: “We currently have a few staff in this exact situation and we are erring on the side of caution and asking them to self isolate.”

Professor Azeem Majeed, professor of primary care at Imperial College London and a GP in Clapham, said: “We will wait for the PCR test result before we let our staff have contact with patients in these circumstances – if they have been fully vaccinated.”

Dr Rob Barnett, medical secretary of Liverpool LMC and a GP in Liverpool, said: “August 16th is another one of those worrying days. Infections in Liverpool have settled at around 350 per 100,000 and this time last year they were 30 per 100,000. I don’t think it’s going to go down particularly quickly and if we have this rate in the middle of summer, I suspect we’re going to run into problems in autumn and winter.”

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, GP and chair of NASGP, writes: “As GP locums, we are highly skilled independent contractors operating as general practitioners across a range of very different practice environments, and so are used to practices having different ways of implementing policies. So it is vital that we protect our professional standards and personal safety by maintaining and regularly updating our personal terms and conditions.Our members can update their credentials in LocumDeck to reflect this.

“Even with terms in place, we have had situations where our members have been placed in situations where they have felt their safety was not being given the attention it deserved, and so we have intervened to help them protect their safety.

“We urge any GPs worried about their safety at this to contact us via the member forum on the dashboard, or via the contact form on our website.”

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