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Independents' Day

New GP out-of-hours provider appeals for doctors to sign up for shifts

The GP out-of-hours group that is taking over the service from Serco in Cornwall is appealing to more GPs to sign up for out of hours shifts to ensure they can fill their rota.

The service will be operated by the local GP provider company, Cornwall Health, put together by the LMC, and will take over the service in June after Serco’s provision was criticised.

But the LMC is warning they will need more than 100 GPs to be confident of having adequate cover, and Cornwall Health has asked all GPs to consider shifts.

New sessional staff will be paid an hourly rate of £60 for weekdays, £75 for overnight cover, £80 on weekends, £100 on bank holidays and £140 on Christmas.

A bulletin by Cornwall Health states: ‘Already, nearly 50 GPs and one nurse have asked to join the service, which is fantastic. However, we need at least double that number to be confident of filling the rota.

‘If you join us there is no lower limit to the amount of work you need to do. If all the GPs in Cornwall signed up and did just one shift a month we would have more than enough cover.’

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly LMC, in their own appeal to GPs to sign up, wrote: ‘It is important that we support our company in its work. It is the first part of a longer term plan to transform healthcare in the county and secure your practices and jobs for the future as well as improving the way in which we deliver care to our patients.’

Readers' comments (18)

  • Those rates are pretty low compared to a plumber, who doesn't also have to fork out a fortune in medical indemnity for the honour of working out of hours. Until OOH is fully indemnified by the government, indeed, until all GP work is covered, most will not and cannot afford to do it,

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  • High risk, poor pay. Shame.

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  • They shouldn't have to plead for people to join. Remunerate this appropriately (to take account of indemnity costs) and people will sign up. The rates on offer are less than weekday daytime rates - why bother?

    Unfortunately all of the goodwill is gone...

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  • I´ve been... and I´ve done...
    Now 3rd finger up... Sorry

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  • Seem pretty poor rates when indemnity fees go up approx £1500 pa if you do ooh.After tax+ni etc thats will be 48 hrs worth shift just to pay this.If I did work in the south west it would be a 2 fingered salute.Just not viable.

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  • Looks like GPs signing up would make a personal loss at these rates, given that some doctors are being quoted £30,000 to cover indemnity.

    OOH is no longer viable. It's long overdue for the government to provide the same cover hospital doctors enjoy.

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  • If we are having to pay £110 odd an hour for a Locum I can't see any GP worth their salt being prepared to work for £60 an hour.

    Admittedly the £60 per hour is a lot more than the £1 per hour GP practices are valued by the GMS contract for doing their own OOH service, but Heyho.

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  • pay properly and you might get some interest

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  • Keep appealing it will fall on deaf ears.
    £60 per hour is a joke.

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  • this is so sad ... why are we not thinking about the public. they are in vital and legitimate need of health services. we should do our duty via the Hippocratic oath and volunteer our services for free to support Cornwell Health. Do you really need to work just 12 hours a day? If you slept for 4 hours and stayed on site you could do a 20 hr shift. Some patients' don't have families or cars or houses. Do you really need those things? We can't expect the fourth richest country in the world with over 100 billionaires to just pay for doctors can we? C'mon comrades if we all chipped in and gave up our families and material items we could make this work :)

    Imagine a new NHS where doctors worked 24 hrs a day 7 days a week for free. the public would love it !

    sadly i can't help as i will be working in the private sector.

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  • OOH worst place safety wise. secondly they dont support for minute of mistakes. BIG NO

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  • They need to pay these rates,and provide indemnity for the poor suckers doing ooh in addition to these rates or else these posts are unlikely to be filled they will be undermanned.The establishment has never valued ooh at its true rate.much to their shame.

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  • Not for all the pasties in Cornwall!

    Serco dumped it as not making the profits they dreamt of when they took over, so then ended up doing a crap service. As they were unwilling to subsidise the service from their own pockets, seems the LMC appealing for GPs to essentially subsidise the OOH service so it can be provided on the cheap.

    Pay for OOH, less than rate for a drain cleaner per hour.

    Most OOH attendances are for things that could wait for Mon-friday routine services, with home/pharmacy/self care.

    All genuine emergencies could be dealt with by a skeleton service - if only the Politicians had the guts to tell the demand driven public the hard truth.

    If the UK can't afford to pay for a 5 star quality service, then the DOH shouldn't ask for GPs to provide one on a 2 star budget. We can't afford as a country to have people seen at their convenience, so they should only be seen according to genuine need.

    The I want service, has to be replaced by a service delivering to those in genuine need.

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  • People with cough/colds and sore throats fill OOH and walk in centre slots.

    All need just supportive care - self directed and OTC, and they don't need seeing by anyone.

    Charge all minor self limiting ailments for attending appointments - with no exceptions, and the self perpetuating demand driven pressure on GP appointments will vanish in a very short time frame as people relearn self care.

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  • These were probably the same rates offered 10 years ago...

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  • Advice to an OOH provider
    Do away with the bureaucracy.. you don't need a HR manager, and 10 assistants.. Your don't need an area manager and 3 assistants... the list goes on!! Save on your staffing costs and pay the doctors.. you'll have no problems recruiting and you'll still be able to make a tidy profit.

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  • 06 May 2015 6:23pm

    So you are anti Government interference, probably think everything is Margaret Thatcher's fault, and that the only party that can save the NHS is Labour?

    But you're off to the Private Sector?

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  • This comment has been moderated.

  • Serco gave up because OOH services are getting unsustainable for whichever the provider; whether private or NHS.
    OOH doctors know what a dump yard OOH has become, thanks to 111 our public has stopped thinking.
    We get calls because somebody got a nightmare, this is not a joke, it is true. Two days ago 111 sent a call "high priority" at 04.30. The patient was asking why he has not received cardiologist appointment.

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