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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)

  • Do I detect the BMA + RCGP being sidelined,time to stand up and be counted.

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  • Vinci Ho

    So this is 'Darth Vader's dark force new Jedi'.
    Desperate measure
    Mini staff grade Jedi??

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  • I expect their salary will just about cover their indemnity costs

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  • do the patients know there arent seeing a fully qualified GP but a FY2 trainee.
    If they turn up in scrubs they will be believed to be fully qualified!
    For the trainee's: are these even classified as training posts?

    physician assistants
    community physicians
    community assistants
    OOH assistants
    OOH physicians
    community staff grade

    can create many posts

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  • Don't fret- it's just another layer that will end with 'speak to your GP.'

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  • Vinci Ho

    May the farce be with you.....

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  • At least working as Community Physicians, one may learn real medicine at the workplace and not waste the time learning about Consulting Skills and other such crap.

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  • So they are mainly going to be let loose on elderly and very frail people..let's hear it from their representatives, families and friends. Are they going to be obliged to declare their trainee status or deceive people into believing theya re properly qualified....the fuss over nurse practitioners palls into insignificance compared with this insult

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  • Words fail me.

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  • Why all the fuss?It's not as if you're asking the FY2 to do neurosugery.It's only general practice for goodness sake.Who can say when GP training ends:2 years,3 years,5 years...or never ending.These are all arbitrary lines in the sand.FY2 trainees are still doctors and by being out in the community they'll gain actual experience and if they aren't sure they can always refer like normal GPs.

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