A GP locum providing online consultations to another GP practice in the UK using real-time interaction, during normal working hours wouldn’t have to inform MPS, the MPS has advised the NASGP.
In the advent of the UK’s second winter with Covid-19, GP locums, practices and patients are increasingly seeking to use remote consulting together.
The MPS defined real-time patient contact as the ability to have two-way communication with the patient by telephone or video consultation. Email, online forms and messaging services are not real-time, a spokesperson advised.
However, one element MPS recommends that GP locums carefully consider is how the remote GP would access a face-to-face consultation for the patient if this was required, particularly if required urgently, as the MPS would require a member to have the facility to either see the patient face-to-face or refer directly to an appropriately qualified clinician for a face-to-face consultation if required.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, a GP locum and NASGP chair, wrote: “This is a welcome clarification from the MPS, and will give GP locums extra confidence to support practices remotely, where they haven’t actually worked for that practice in person. We are actively exploring a way for our members to perform remote locum work in this way, that would allow for the practice and locum to establish an ongoing supportive relationship.
“Although it is not compulsory, we still advise any locum working remotely to inform their indemnity provider about the work (including remote work) they undertake.”