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GPs go forth

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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