Practices can use £150m ‘second wave’ fund to hire GP locums, BMA confirms

27th November 2020 by NASGP

Practices can use £150m ‘second wave’ fund to hire GP locums, BMA confirms

The BMA has confirmed that practices can use a new £150m fund to hire GP locums, GP Online reports.

The funding package worth £150m will be made available to practices during the second wave of COVID-19, NHS England confirmed in a letter to ICS leaders earlier this month.

The fund was initially thought to be solely designated for funding short-term salaried jobs.

But the BMA’s new statement gives practices the support they need to make their own decisions about how to get through the winter and spring. 

Back in September the NASGP warned NHS England not to lock GP locums out during a second wave.

When the fund was first announced, the NASGP found that information about the fund took an aggressive stance towards locum use in practices. 

“Systems are encouraged to use the fund to stimulate the creation of additional salaried GP roles that are attractive to practices and locums alike,” the authors wrote. NHSE’s initial letter neglected to mention locums at any other point during the message. 

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: ““It’s great to hear that practices will now be able to make their own decisions about utilising their existing locum workforce using this funding, without having to create new un-tested short-term salaried posts and go through a recruitment process. Locums will be well advised to make sure that local practices understand these updated funding arrangements. 

“GP locums are such an integral part of delivering primary care that such announcements should always include information on how practices can allocate spend in terms of GP locums, or where locums fit in within these plans.”

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