Welsh GP locums forced into banks by state indemnity clause

26th March 2021 by NASGP

Welsh GP locums forced into banks by state indemnity clause

Welsh GPs were told they will lose state indemnity for locum work unless they joined new ‘staffing banks’, Pulse reported last week.

GP leaders warn that GPs in banks will lose the power to set their own rates and terms. They warn that this may become a death knell for both flexible working, and the retention of GPs in the workforce.

In December 2020, GP locums in Wales were told that to maintain access to state indemnity, they would have to join a new staffing bank, ‘Locum Hub Wales’. Since 2019, all GPs in England and Wales who provide NHS services have been automatically covered by state indemnity schemes.

Last month, the BMA’s General Practitioner Committee (GPC) for Wales warned the Welsh Government in a letter last month that it has not been consulted about Locum Hub Wales, and expressed ‘strong concerns’.

In January, the Welsh Government agreed for GP locums to continue to use LocumDeck, but asked them to record all sessions in Locum Hub Wales too.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the NASGP, said: “Although we completely understand that there needs to be better coordination and integration of GP locums into local healthcare systems, this must not be mistaken for a top-down, quick-fix implementation of compulsory systems without consultation. This approach only serves to disenfranchise those involved, leading to instability and long term recruitment and retention issues.

“At the NASGP, we have taken the opposite approach: placing the healthcare professionals front and centre in any local plans. We build systems around them that they want to use, and give GPs the autonomy to use their skills in a way that best serves their community.

“This action in Wales reflects a worrying growth in these types of banks, which has led to an influx of inquiries into NASGP from GP locums about setting up or joining local locum chambers. Chambers are a tried-and-tested way to book and retain GPs locally, stabilise the GP workforce, and recruit more GPs into salaried posts and partnerships in time.”

Join our NASGP chamber for Wales to take a stand on this issue.

"I have been a member of the NASGP for about 18 months and find the support and advice invaluable.

It was especially helpful when I started locum work. I think I must have spent hours on the website devouring every single article as I was keen to learn all I could before I went solo. "

Dr Sally Watkins

Dr Sally Watkins

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