GP locums are calling for safe working conditions, better training, and a seat at the table in primary care’s recovery from the pandemic at this year’s conference.
Dorset LMC’s motion, the opening salvo in the sessional GPs’ debate, calls on conference to ‘acknowledge the economic and professional impact COVID-19 has had on GP locums’.
Dorset calls for NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) to:
“(i) prioritise locums for work over those GPs returning to practice from retirement
(ii) enable locums to work safely
(iii) ensure locums are equipped and trained for new ways of working
(iv) ensure locums are included in future discussions over primary care’s response to and recovery from the crisis.”
Dorset’s motion will be followed by supportive motions from three other LMCs, Hertfordshire, mid-Mersey, and Somerset, and the Sessional GPs’ Committee.
- Hertfordshire calls for the General Practitioners’ Committee (GPC) England of the BMA to improve on GP locum engagement in PCNs, CCGs and ICSs, including mandating ICSs to fund self-directed learning groups for GP locums
- Mid-Mersey calls on conference to vote in favour of flexible long-term positions being offered to GP locums.
- Somerset calls on conference to censures NHS England’s decision to recall retired, superannuated GPs to service at the same time as younger sessional GPs with dependents to support were out of work.
The Sessional GPs’ Committee addresses inequities that some GP locums faced during the pandemic, and mandates GPC England to:
- Negotiate appropriate IT solutions to ensure all GP locums have clinical remote access.
- Provide access to independent and fully funded COVID-19 risk assessments for all GP locums.
- Facilitate workplace adaptations for GP locums when risk assessments demonstrate a need.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “All these motions have the NASGP’s full support. However, we must remember that similar motions to these have been proposed and passed for many years at LMC conferences, but can fail GP locums when we rely on local systems to implement them on our behalf.
“If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that GP locums are still way down on NHS England’s agenda. But that’s not to say we as GP locums can’t take action and make these changes ourselves through systems that already work well, such as locum chambers.
“Often working constructively with practices, PCNs and CCGs, NASGP’s locum chambers are a proven way to support locums in every facet of their work, boosting recruitment and retention.”
“Thanks to NASGP’s groups and chambers, it has never been easier to hook up with other local GP locums to implement positive change that genuinely benefits GPs and practices.”