Call for review of GPs’ re-registration processes amid Covid-19 workforce crisis

11th June 2021 by NASGP

Call for review of GPs’ re-registration processes amid Covid-19 workforce crisis

Retired GPs have called for a review of return-to-work processes following reports that doctors struggled to rejoin the workforce during the pandemic, BMA News reports.

Dr John Hughes, a retired GP, told an online audience: “There has been a significant contribution of retired members to the Covid response, but there have been a significant number of problems.

“As part of the review of the Covid response, I think it would be useful for the retired members committee and the BMA to consider working with both the Department of Health and the GMC to examine what worked well, what went wrong and very much how we can do things better in the future.”

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the NASGP, said: “Everyone was very much caught on the backfoot when first responding to Covid-19, trying our best in a rapidly developing situation. Existing workforce problems were thrown into sharp relief, such as the professional isolation and lack of support experienced by so many existing GP locums.

“As well as improving on how we can reintroduce retired GPs, any review must include a much wider look at supporting freelance flexible GPs at all stages of their career, especially those just qualifying as GPs since they naturally lack much of the experience that our senior colleagues already have.”

Dr Hughes’ comments came just days before the publication of a highly critical report into how Covid-19 burnout is accelerating the NHS workforce crisis.

The Health and Social Care Committee’s ‘Workforce burnout and resilience in the NHS and social care’ report found that:

  • Burnout was raised as a serious problem by a wide range of organisations representing staff, including the RCGP.
  • A number of written submissions to the inquiry, including one from the RCGP, set out the specific challenges staff from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds faced in relation to workplace culture, burnout and resilience. In oral evidence, Dr Chaand Nagpaul CBE, Chair of the BMA Council, said there was a ‘very definite and worrying impact on BAME doctors, who feel particularly unable to speak out and are more likely to be blamed… There is a lot of evidence that they experience worse inequalities in the NHS’.
  • It echoed the Health Foundation’s estimate that the NHS in England faces a shortfall of 7,000 FTE GPs in 2023/24 rising to 11,500 FTE GPs by 2028/29.

Sign up to a free three-month NASGP membership trial to get weekly updates on workload, policy changes, and all the stories that affect sessional GPs’ working lives.


"I have tried a few different platforms but nothing compares to the comfort and practicality of LocumDeck. The NASGP support team is absolutely wonderful and they walked me through the initial set-up. Once the set-up is complete, the booking process is so easy and literally happens with the click of a button. I also love the paperless pension form submissions through LocumDeck and it takes me no more than two minutes each month to send all the necessary pension forms to PCSE. I have already recommended LocumDeck to all my colleagues and it is a must-have for anyone thinking about entering the GP locum world. I wish every practice in the country would sign up."

Dr Priya Arunachalam, GP, Southampton

See the full list of features within our NASGP membership plans