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Gerada: GP partnerships likely to be gone within a decade

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Anonymous | GP Partner | 11 December 2014 6:45pm ".....surgeries will be staffed by locums operating out of chambers" You are absolutely correct ...in fact this is what is happening already. I can think of several practices in my area who are basically filling their rotas with independent freelance Locum GPs because they can not employ anyone on a contract. People aren't taking up partnerships because the model has been squeezed to death by the government. Increasingly people aren't taking salaried jobs either and opting to work as Locums because they have far more control and the pay and conditions are preferable. If the partnership model is consigned to history the work force will increasingly become one of independent Locums who hire out their time to non partner practices. We will go from one independent practitioner model to another. For the tax payer the deal will be worse because you will have to pay Locums the market rate..and that will be expensive. Locums will not have the personal investment in an individual practice either..again to the detriment of the customer (i.e. Patients) and this again will increase costs. Destroying partnerships is basically an invitation for General Practitioners to leave the NHS and set themselves up as completely independent service providers working out of chambers. It won't be a salaried model...it will be a freelance Locum model. From a purely personal perspective I'm delighted. I have been working as a Locum GP for the last 2 and a half years and I think I have my work life balance pretty much sorted. I am mid career and unless someone offers me an unusually attractive salaried position this this the way I plan to continue. However from the perspective of the tax payer and patients (we are all patients ourselves too) it will be a bad development indeed. Practices staffed by temporary employees with no allegiance to the practices they work in being paid at market rates. This sounds like an expensive service with little continuity. It's is continuity of care that again and again people rate as one of the most important things they want from their GP - this will be gone. 24/7 staffing will cost a fortune...too expensive I bet to have GPs doing the work. If they just funded partnerships adequately and invested as they should a great service could be maintained but short-termism is the nature of politics and it seems this is the way it's going to be. If the government try to make being a Locum unattractive..there just won't be any Drs left working as GPs...it just won't make sense to spend that much money on a medical degree to become one....unless they make being salaried worth while (expensive and less efficient that partnerships) Partnerships are good value for money but are set to be abandoned. We are basically throwing in the towel on NHS general practice by going down this route - in fact I'd argue it's actually throwing in the towel on the NHS full stop. I find it more than a little depressing that a former chair of the RCGP is pushing for this very thing.

Posted date

11 Dec 2014

Posted time

7:58pm

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