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Independents' Day

Sessional GP leader to take seat on GPC

By Gareth Iacobucci

Exclusive: The rebel GP leader spearheading talks for salaried and locum GPs to split from the BMA and join the Medical Practitioners' Union (MPU) has agreed to take one of the rival union's seats on the GPC.

National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP) chief executive Dr Richard Fieldhouse has agreed to take one of the MPU's two seats on GPC, which became vacant after a fellow member stepped aside, to strengthen the voice of salaried and locum GPs.

The move signals a strengthening of the relationship between the NASGP and the MPU, who are engaged in on-going talks over moves to create an alternative representative body for salaried GPs and locums.

Since the 1960s the MPU has held two seats on the GPC, which it obtained in exchange for giving up its negotiating rights with the Department of Health on GP pay.

Dr Fieldhouse said his role would become more significant if - as Pulse's survey suggests this week – growing numbers of sessional GPs flock to join the MPU.

‘If sessional GPs start joining MPU, then I would see myself being able to speak for those GPs. If me sitting on the vacant MPU seat on the GPC helps to further emancipate sessional GPs then I'm game on.'

‘It's looking at all options. It means that there are two people sitting on the GPC that can feed back information to the MPU,' he added.

The discussions could lead to the NASGP's 1,200 members joining the MPU, and are designed to attract all 16,000 sessional GPs in England.

Pulse's survey of over 500 GPs this week suggests that as many as two-thirds of sessional GPs are planning to join the MPU.

NASGP chief executive Dr Richard Fieldhouse NASGP chief executive Dr Richard Fieldhouse

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