24. Dr Richard Fieldhouse
Sessional GP leader
Dr Richard Fieldhouse reappears in the Power 50 this year thanks to his sterling work on behalf of salaried and locum GPs across the country.
For example, as chair of the National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP), he took up the cause of the family of Dr Helen Sanderson, a GP locum who died last Christmas Eve and whose family was denied all ‘death in service’ benefits as she was not due to work that day. Dr Fieldhouse loudly demanded a change in the current regulations in Pulse and on social media – and taught the GPC a thing or two about what they should be fighting for.
The Chichester GP also spoke out about NICE proposals for all GPs to get individual reports on their antibiotics prescribing – pointing out that this may do more harm than good, given that it is impossible to distinguish individual prescribers at a practice.
This kind of energetic activism has seen the NASGP membership grow 20% this year, with Dr Fieldhouse saying many GP partners are finding better a work-life balance as locum doctors.
In August he launched the NASGP’s new electronic Standardised Practice Induction Pack (Spip), a secure online tool that enables GPs to store and share essential information with locums such as how to organise urgent treatment or inform patients about abnormal blood results. It’s the second big launch from the association after its AppraisalAid tool for sessional GPs.
Himself a locum, Dr Fieldhouse is also the founder of the ‘chambers’ model of partnership for locum GPs, a clinical lead for NHS Coastal West Sussex CCG and something of an amateur graphic designer.
He says: ‘After constructive criticism (harsh but fair) from a NASGP member, I taught myself some graphic design and desktop publishing skills, refreshed the NASGP’s brand and now produce The Sessional GP digital magazine entirely in-house, doubling its size and circulation.’