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For locum now read freelance GP

Locums should be called 'freelance GPs' and non-principals 'sessional GPs', the National Association of Non-Principals has concluded. The new names have been decided by the association ­ which plans to change its name accordingly ­ to end the negative connotation of 'non-principal'.

Chief executive Dr Richard Fieldhouse said the change reflected the fact the switch of role had 'come of age'. He added: 'When patients arrive at a practice and are told they are not seeing a doctor, but a locum, they don't think they are seeing a real doctor.'

The association estimates 20 per cent of GPs are sessional or freelance. It is to ask members to endorse the name changes via a poll on its website.

 · Will bubble burst?, page 40

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