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LMCs to take on extra staff to help tackle commissioning challenge

By Gareth Iacobucci, Charlotte Barnes

LMCs are considering drafting in extra staff and retired doctors to cope with the challenge of GP commissioning.

GP leaders said the moves may be necessary in order to give the GPs the best support possible in taking forward the Government's commissioning reforms and forming consortia.

Dr Greg Place, chair of Nottinghamshire LMC, which is one of those that is considering bolstering its staff, said: 'We are going to have to take a look at the secretariat workload there's no doubt, and we have already spoken to a few experienced GPs who have recently, or are going to, retire to look at actually asking for their expertise with various clinical issues.

'What we will do is look at paying [retired GPs] on a professional basis for some input. They may help in all sorts of ways being sort of "wise men", but we already use a number of GPs if we need to have that help with GPs who are having a spot of bother in supportive roles, and of course, at the moment, there are quite a lot of pressures in the system, so it is useful to have mentors in the community.'

Dr Bob Morley, executive secretary of Birmingham LMCs, said his LMC would wait until the health bill goes through parliament before making any definite changes, but said they were prepared for 'a whole lot of extra work for LMCs'.

He said: 'It's very difficult to plan and decide exactly how we're going to approach that until we've got a bit more clarity in terms of when the legislation goes through Parliament.

'It's something we might have to consider in the future but we haven't made any plans yet, but we will keep a continual watch on the situation.'

Dr Robert Morley Health bill

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