New GP locum champion role creates milestone

3rd September 2021 by NASGP

New GP locum champion role creates milestone

A new GP locum champion role is being advertised in Shropshire to offer a point of contact and support for newly-qualified GPs who start work as GP locums.

Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG has also called for an ‘ethnically diverse’ GP champion to work with Black and Asian GPs and GPs from minority ethnicities.

The two GP champions will act as the “go to person” for local GPs from each of the two cohorts who seek support or experience isolation. It is hoped that the GP champions will support the cohorts by informing CCG leadership about the problems GPs report to them.

Phil Morgan, primary care lead for workforce at NHS Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “The NHSE/I nationally-funded GP Fellowship scheme provides two years of training and development for newly-qualified GPs. Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG wanted to enhance the national offer by adding additional support to our newly-qualified GP locums.”

The role is advertised at  £300 per session for one session a month across a 12-month fixed term.

Local ‘champion’ roles have been developed by other CCGs across the UK, but it is thought that Shropshire CCG’s is currently the only specific opportunity for GPs to support NQGP locums locally.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, GP locum and chair of NASGP, says: “Too many newly qualified GPs head out to their first full day as a GP locum without having benefited from any preparation in all the nuances and complexities of working as self -employed independent contractors for medical services, in practices and surgeries that are often completely different to the ones where they trained.

“And so it is heartening that Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin CCG  is offering to deploy a GP locum champion to help make sure these new GPs hit the ground running as new locums, and also to provide ongoing professional support. It will be interesting to see how this new model works, especially with any sensitivities in reporting problems directly to the CCG.

“Of course it doesn’t have to be that NQGPs launch their careers without the support they need, and as an organisation we have been providing workshops and seminars for over 1,000 GPs in training every year to reduce the impact of starting out as a GP locum.

“Many areas of the country are already partnering with NASGP and taking an alternative approach through establishing networks of peer-led locum chambers – like ‘virtual practices’ – where the locums work in, and are supported by, their locum colleagues and a wrap-around management structure.  NASGP continues to welcome expressions of interest by ICSes and CCGs who wish to explore partnerships with us.”

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