Around half of GP locums have reported a decrease in their sessions worked over the past year due to a lack of work available, a new Pulse survey has found.
The magazine also found that the number of GP vacancies advertised has almost halved in a year.
The survey found that 27% maintained their sessions worked and 8% increased them. A further 17% decreased their workload through personal circumstances, including by choice.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the National Association of Sessional GPs, said the NASGP estimates there are around 6,000 more locums practising in the UK than in 2017.
He told Pulse earlier this week: “If we’re not employing these non-salaried, non-partner GPs, it becomes unsustainable for them to continue as GPs, then they’re going to leave, in big numbers. Once you’ve lost a GP, they don’t ever really come back, not in any useful way.
“If we don’t do something urgently to retain these GPs, who we’ve invested so much in, then once their workload gets below a certain point, I think general practice as we know it could effectively crash overnight. Practices must be allowed to use ARRS funding to engage GP locums and appoint salaried GPs.”
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