Wales Government in move that could restrict GP locums

14th March 2019 by NASGP

Wales Government in move that could restrict GP locums

Wales Government Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced that Wales will be the first nation in the UK to introduce a locum register from April this year, and the first ‘compulsory’ register of its kind in the UK. As well as already having to register on the national Performers List, any GPs wishing to support practices in Wales as locums will need to be on this register in order to benefit from the state-backed indemnity scheme.

Indemnity rule for locum GPs threatens workforce crisis in Wales

So, rather than take a proactive approach to encourage more GPs to live and work in Wales, the Welsh Government instead seems to be reducing the options available to GPs, and potentially reduce the support that practices receive from the GP locum workforce, by insisting that all locums will need to sign up to the register and, rather worryingly, linking this to qualifying for the state-backed indemnity scheme.

In order to access the state-backed indemnity scheme which will indemnify individuals against claims arising from clinical negligence for NHS work, locum GPs will have to enter onto the All Wales Locum Register.

NASGP Chairman Dr Richard Fieldhouse said: “Just about everything about this press release from the Wales Government is about how they want to contain the GP locum workforce without any real attempt to understand why more GPs in Wales are preferring to work as locums, or how to support them in their delivery of care for the many practices in Wales that rely on them.”

“Forcing highly skilled professional who either wish to, or have no other choice but to, work as GP locums to sign up to a new register, with punitive measures being applied for not doing so, will not do anything whatsoever to motivate the GP workforce. Even GP partners, who may someday wish to work as a locum in Wales, will rightly see their choices dwindling. This is a formula to demotivate a workforce, not inspire it.”

"I am so glad and grateful for being a member of NASGP's BOB locum chambers. I started with them in a critical period of my career as I was a newly-qualified GP, looking for work in a new area with a new virus hardly hitting the world and the jobs market.

Richard and Ali's help was a godsend. They introduced me to locum work in a friendly and kind manner, provided valuable support and excellent service through the ever-improving LocumDeck and NASGP website. With the help of the chambers, I received a face to face tutorial on Emis (I trained on SystmOne) and my online profile was promoted on a growing network of GP practices throughout Buckinghamshire, Oxford and Berkshire.

I was able to work in different GP practices with different staff and patient demographics, massively increasing my clinical experience, resilience and communication skills.

It also helped me funnelling down all the job offers I received through my locum work until I recently agreed for a salaried position in a GP practice that I love working at. "

Dr Nazar Ahmed, Oxford

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