Earlier this month the Royal Medical Benevolent Fund (RMBF) hosted a national conference attended by many professional organisations and representatives of the Chief Medical Officer from all four UK countries and, of course, yours truly.
The conference agreed the formation of a working group of organisations who are involved with sessional GPs in all four countries with contributions from all those with relevant expertise, and the RCGP has formally agreed to take this new group forward.
The conference received reports of research commissioned by the RMBF into issues faced by sessional GPs, carried out by Gill Morrow and Charlotte Kergon of Durham University Medical Education Research Group with Dr Paula Wright from the Northern Deanery. Dr Wright led a presentation on the research, which highlighted issues with the identification of and communication with sessional GPs, resulting in a sense of professional isolation. This resulted in turn in missed opportunities for education, feedback, benchmarking, peer support and difficulties with producing evidence for appraisal and revalidation. A range of bottom-up initiatives had demonstrated impact in addressing these problems including Self-Directed Learning Groups, regional sessional GP groups and GP Locum Chambers. Local deanery tutors were also felt to have had an important impact.