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Advertisement for 'unqualified GP' post temporarily removed after outcry

The Challenge Fund pilot that invited FY2 doctors to apply for positions in GP practices has pulled its job advert ‘for editing’ after the RCGP called for urgent clarification over the use of untrained GPs.

Shropdoc said it was ‘sorry for any confusion’ caused by the advert for a community physician to provide the ‘full spectrum’ of GMS consultations.

But the doctors’ cooperative said the advert had now been taken down for editing and ‘will be re-posted in due course’.

The RCGP called for urgent clarification from Health Education England (HEE) after learning that FY2 doctors without specialty training were being recruited.

The successful candidate was expected to work across GP practices in Shropshire and Staffordshire as part of its Challenge Fund seven-day GP access pilot.

Candidates for the job, paying between and £30,002 and £39,693 depending on experience for a 40-hour week, needed to have ‘completed at least foundation year two’ but would work as a ‘senior member undertaking the full spectrum of GMS consultations’, the advert said.

The advert, titled ‘Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund community physician’, said: ‘This is an exciting opportunity for fully registered medical practitioners, having completed at least Foundation Year 2…

‘You will be based in a variety of practices in Shropshire and Staffordshire and will work as a senior member undertaking the full spectrum of GMS consultations, frail elderly experience both in practice and the community, educational attachments with SSSFT Dementia Service, and urgent care sessions via Shropdoc.

But concerns were raised over the level of training the community physician would receive, whether they would be supervised in their work and whether they would need a Certificate of Completion Training (CCT).’

RCGP chair Dr Maureen Baker wrote on Twitter: ‘Re “community physician” role. Asking @NHS_HealthEdEng 4 urgent clarification. Training or not? Supervision? CCT 4 independent work.

GPC education, training and workforce subcommittee chair Dr Krishna Kasaraneni said ‘crucially, these are not training posts’ and that the ad could ‘mislead doctors who may see this as a GMC accredited training programme’.

He said: ‘Only qualified GPs can provide certain types of care and we need to ensure the quality of patient care is protected and maintained…

‘These posts cannot be seen as a sort of replacement for GPs. The only way to meet rising demand and alleviate pressure on services is to address the funding and recruitment crisis crippling general practice.’

But after being approached by Pulse, Dr Russell Muirhead, Shropdoc chairman, said: ‘We are sorry for any confusion that has been caused as a result of this job posting, which was unfortunately released prematurely before final sign off by the senior directors. The advert has now been taken down for editing and will be re-posted in due course.’

He said the post was ‘a new development… aimed at doctors having completed FY2 posts who seek further experience in primary care before applying for specialist training in the normal way’ and stressed that the programme consisted of ‘supervised roles’.

He added: ‘This is not a specialist training position but does include education and training in elderly care and dementia via a university diploma course….

‘The aim of this initiative is to introduce and promote general practice and community care to newly qualified doctors at a time when doctors choosing to enter general practice is falling.’

A job description, still available, said the candidate will ‘make professionally autonomous decisions’ and determining the ‘best course of action or treatment’ based on their professional medical knowledge and that the community physician would be ‘accepting accountability for those decisions, seeking supervision and guidance as required’. They will also be expected to ‘prescribe or supply and administer medication and treatments’.

The position also involved two educational sessions a week with Keele University and Health Education West Midlands, which are ‘offering modules in dementia, frailty, health informatics, clinical effectiveness, leadership management along with access to the British Geriatric Society Diploma’, the advert said.

Readers' comments (46)

  • Bob Hodges

    To Anonymous | GP Partner | 13 July 2015 4:20pm

    As for lifelong learning, GP training may not have an 'end', but it sure as hell has a START, and this isn't it.

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  • To Anonymous GP Partner @ 4:20 pm

    Oh dear!! And you are a GP? And a partner?

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  • absolutely outrageous
    dangerous stupid and completely 100 per cent unacceptable

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  • So you don't need training in general practice hey..any Dr will do? What's the point of the MRCGP exam then? Is the only doctoring that really matters the stuff that happens in hospitals? ...fill primary care with low grade Drs? - primary care is simple? isn't needed??

    If I hadn't done the structured training I'd done before I became a GP I'd be completely and utterly lost. You don't have the luxury of a referral letter when random bod No. 7 of today's 40 patients (age 0-120) rocks up in your 10 minute appointment with ANY potential diagnosis ranging from 'completely well' to 'impending and imminent death' and everything in-between. The only person in that room for 10 minutes is you and the patient better get the plan right or someone will suffer. No particular training needed?? WTF!

    I pity the poor fools who will take up these jobs. They've no idea the risks they will be exposing themselves to. The people employing them have no idea what general practice is either. Medical indemnity fees will have to reflect this.

    The result of a poor training in primary care is more work to will have to be done in hospitals. People will turn up there later and more of them will end up in A&E. Haven't we got enough folk in A&E already?

    Exactly the opposite of the current model seeking transfer of work out of hospitals into primary care.
    I don't understand ....its lunacy.

    But this isn't a centralised plan is's an unintended consequence of the ongoing undermining and underfunding of general practice.

    None with half a brain is actually steering the NHS are they's a sinking ship steaming full speed into the nearest ice burg. USS Healthcare-Megacorp is waiting for the call to come pick up the survivors when the ship finally goes under.

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  • The advert has been pulled. Somebody needs to resign.
    Innocent SHROPDOC members - sort it out and don't dice with patients or attempt to exploit junior doctors again.

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  • From what I see here in these headlines day in day out, I think that whatever is imposed on british general practice, however stupid and ill thought out, it will be pushed through regardless;

    its blindingly obvious that what the professionals think is not important; this is just a further extension of the "de dkilling" process we see in british society to get the job done on the cheap--- nurse practitioners in hospitals performing surgery, endoscopy and calling themselves consultants. health care assistants and community volunteers performing nursing roles, teaching assistants becoming teachers, community support officers becoming police officers.

    If all you do is come on these forums and moan, but don't take any real action, then this will keep on happening..... its high time more and more of you said no and stopped doing all the little extras and freebies that have led to all of this; refuse to cooperate with the local CCGs, stop taking any out of hours shifts; resign your partnerships and locum instead, retire/ emigrate.... whatever you have to do but stop bloody moaning for goodness sakes!!

    you're not dealing with rational, sentient beings !!! they'd get you to work for free if they could and they do most of the time rely on your goodwill to keep this dysfunctional system going. If you turn the other cheek here folks your about to get smacked even harder!!

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  • It depends on whether you regard general practice as a speciality or not. The RCGP have been doing their utmost to make the job more worthy with their exam and GMC edicts, and then there's appraisal and re validation so that we can have proof of our worthiness .

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  • @Anonymous | GP Partner | 13 July 2015 10:37pm
    Very true ...worthiness. Lols

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  • But in days one by, before GP training was devised, any registered doctor could do GP locums.

    Surely a doctor is a doctor- what are all these GPs getting so precious about. After all, general practice is the dumping ground for those who couldn't cut it in hospital medicine, isn't it...

    Anyway, who needs training in how to manage uncertainty, all the hidden agendas, the full spectrum of medicine outside of hospital, the differences between hospital medicine and community medicine, management of chronic diseases that never make it to hospital, and so on.

    Why, we could solve the GP crisis in a stroke if we did away with GP training altogether and employed 5000 docs who have completed F2 to do the same job unsupervised.

    Honestly what's all the fuss about?

    [tongue FIRMLY in cheek here, in case anyone missed my humour]

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  • Fine if its a supervised position designed to geve junior docs a tast of GP and encourage them in to the fold.
    Not fine if its a long term thing with the plan being for them to act as GPs without the qualifications and experience and without supervision. That would be downright dangerous for patients and it would downgrade primary care to something between at best a triage service and at worst a game of health care Russian roulette for patients. It would worsen the recruitment problems and probably lead to worse pay and conditions due to being undercut by trainees, keeping us on tube drivers wages, although I thing some salaried GPs earn less than this per hour now.

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