‘Sustained fatigue’ new factor in FTP cases

21st January 2022 by NASGP

‘Sustained fatigue’ new factor in FTP cases

The General Medical Council (GMC) will factor in the ‘sustained fatigue’ faced by UK GPs during the pandemic in fitness-to-practise complaints they may face, Pulse reports.

The GMC has updated its Covid-specific guidance for the profession, first published in September 2020, to highlight four ‘pandemic pressures’:

  1. ‘Sustained fatigue’.
  2. ‘Ongoing requirements to work outside normal areas of practice’.
  3. ‘Availability of resources, including absences and workforce shortages in wider healthcare teams and managing prolonged or more pronounced rota gaps’.
  4. ‘Nature of presenting conditions where patients have had delayed care due to the cumulative impact on elective treatment and the potential for non-covid related illnesses to present very late. For example patients whose routine surgery was postponed as a result of the pandemic, sometimes repeatedly and whose conditions deteriorated and became urgent.’

Pulse also reported this week that data on last November’s urgent cancer referrals is even higher than the same figure for March last year.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “This will come as welcome news to all GPs and, in particular, those of us who already work across multiple sites, where we necessarily lack familiarity and are not part of each practice’s established support network.

“Everything about the pandemic has amplified the medicolegal risks we already take as GP locums, and added some extra ones too. And throughout, NASGP has been continually reporting on GP fatigue, workforce shortages and delayed care, specifically in relation to how these are having an impact on salaried GPs and GP locums.

“For any NASGP members that feel they are in a position of enforced underperformance, we have plenty of resources to help. For example, staying well during busy work periodsmedicolegal risks for locums during Covid, and of course, our LocumDeck platform to connect practices and locums.”

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Dr Daphne Hazel, GP

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