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Gold, incentives and meh

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)

  • Took Early Retirement

    Ah! Now I know where a lot of the "5000 extra GPs" will be coming from!

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  • Does anyone believe that £30k is a reasonable salary for a frontline doctor?

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  • What's surpising in this? You only get what you deserve.
    If people are not happy with doctors( read as highly skilled professionals, coming from the top 10 percent of school students, working hard for nearly 10 years before becoming fully independent practitioners) and think GPs are overpaid, they can very well see any Tom, Dick or Harry with few years of obsevership in medicine.
    Unless the society starts to respect people for their knowledge and hardwork, things are not going to improve.
    Having said that there are plenty of places in the world, where hard work is recognized and I strongly advise junior doctors/ F2 not to fall into dangerous traps like this and spoil their future.

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  • Why can't doctors without CCT be clinical assistants to GPs in the community? while college is promoting the concept of PAs so vigorously??
    After all, patients still get to consult a doctor who has as much or more training and education compared to non medical autonomous practitioners?

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  • This situation could have been averted had it not been for power hungry PCTs and NHs in collaboration with GMCMPTS removed practising,well qualified GPs on spurious grounds.They were helped in this by BMA and medical defence bodies that did not use Employment law to protect their members.
    If NHS will swallow their pride and call back GPs whom they had referred on spurious grounds to GMC MPTS for even providing Good Samaritan care for their patients;such events could still be remedied.
    NHS in collaboration with GMCMPTs have denuded GP numbers.
    There was an excess of qualified GPs 4 years ago according NHS North Central's medical director,calling for resignation of a practising GP.This is the real situation of GPs now with severe shortage of Gps
    They have made their bed and are sleeping in it,to the suffering of public.
    NHS have with GMC MPTS proved irresponsible in their behaviour to the public

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  • What is all the fuss about. If 111 call handler with 2 week training is allowed to give advise, and to even recomment a doctor what to do, why not FY2 to work as GPs? They have a medical degree and have gone to medical school.

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  • soon they will be getting in volunteers with no training

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  • Peter Swinyard

    I think I am going to be an independent practitioner in brain surgery.
    After all, I have a medical degree and some 36 years of experience as a doctor.
    How hard can it be to deal with just one organ instead of everything as I have done for 31 years?
    Surely some FT would employ me to make autonomous decisions and do treatments. I can read a "how-to-do-it" book as well as anyone and come from the era of See one, Do one, Teach one and often had to miss out stages 1 and 2.
    Bring me your meningiomas, folks. I think I'll start there.

    Or to put it another way, don't dump unsuspecting FY2s in the sh1t - they need experience in general practice but to do the job properly need 20-30 minute appointments and a supervisor on site with protected time for discussion. Suddenly a trained GP looks like good value.

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  • Bertie

    Good leadership is crucial at all levels of primary care which includes good planning and authorisation of job advertisements. The scenario is an indicator of the desperation in some areas of primary care.

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  • Don't Worry - Private companies running NHS contracts are well ahead in this game.

    They no longer even bother to have GPs in my area - even salaried GPs are too expensive and erode into their profits too much.

    They just sacked the most of the salaried GPs and replaced them with Nurse Consultants, leading Nurse Practitioners, supported by Practice nurses and HCAs, as well as converting the receptionists into extra HCAs.

    I'm fairly sure if Physician's assistants were available they would be employed too. Potentially pharmacists could also be used in the cost cutting, at the expense of using GPs in GP practices, reducing the quality of care is irrelevant to these providers as only the bottom line counts.

    The remaining salaried GP sees all the stuff that the non GPs feel unable to handle.

    Most of the patients are from ethnic minorities and many don't speak English, so most turn up thinking they are seeing GPs and don't understand that the person they have seen is less qualified than the FY2 doctors suggested above who at least have a medical degree and some post graduate experience.

    Impossible that NHS England is unaware of this reduced quality of care, going against all the tendering crap that was deemed worthy of winning the bid, but now they have the contract - all the promises thrown out of the window, and Key performance indicators fudged to make it look like an adequate service is being provided, and NHS England look the other way.

    That is how Shrop-Doc thought they could cut huge costs by paying 30-40,000 for a doctor to do a job for half the price of a decent qualified GP. So much waste when they could just not hire a Dr at all and get away with Inter-professional working, and staff skill mixing.

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