Locums to be asked to work Saturdays from October

28th April 2022 by NASGP

Locums to be asked to work Saturdays from October

GP locums in England will be asked to work 9am-5pm on Saturdays and 6.30pm-8pm on weekday evenings in the autumn, a Pulse exclusive reveals.

NHS England confirmed to the BMA that primary care networks will need to provide GP appointments covering the ‘full’ periods as part of a new GMS contract that comes into force from Saturday 1 October 2022.

The BMA reiterated to Pulse that GPC England did not agree to the changes.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “When ‘initiatives’ like this have been imposed on general practice in the past, our experience has always been that general practice will rise to the challenge and make all the necessary arrangements to replan clinics and appointments, only for there to be a significant period of time before patients change their behaviour. This results in less capacity during the times that patients had become used to, and GPs then facing unfilled clinics, sometimes even completely empty.

“And long-term, because of the family-unfriendly nature of working weekends, recruitment and retention suffers. This is a short-term vote-winner but will not serve patients well in the long-term.”

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Hilary Greenaway, The Priory Surgery, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire

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