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Practices warned not to stockpile locums during ‘surge’ in shortage of GPs

Dr Samir Dawlatly

dr sam dawlatly 3

Dr Sam Dawlatly

Dr Samir Dawlatly imagines a scenario in which GP shortages lead to stockpiling attempts

Practices say they are struggling to obtain many common GPs including sessional GPs and partners. This is leaving patients complaining of delays in getting hold of appointments and practices paying over the odds for locums. Pulse has found there has been a big rise in the number of health care professionals on the ’shortage of supply’ list for England.

There are a number of reasons why this has happened, but there are now concerns that uncertainty over Brexit will only make the situation worse. The RCGP said there was ’a massive shortage and price spikes’. There is concern that this could affect some practices’ ability to deliver services, and cost the NHS more.

Practices and patients in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland also appear to be experiencing similar shortages.

Stephanie, who has fibromyalgia - a condition which causes pain all over the body - and hypermobility, wasn’t able to get the anti-inflammatory appointment from her practice in December. Instead, she was given a telephone call which didn’t have the same effect.

’I was in floods of tears with the pain - it was awful,’ she told the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

’It makes a massive difference in my condition.’

Without the appointment, Stephanie’s inflammation increased to the point where she dislocated her thumb.

’It’s difficult to explain how hard it is to deal with, suffering from chronic pain.’

Stephanie has experienced her GPs being out of stock before, but they usually reappear reasonably quickly.

This time, that hasn’t happened.

The best advice is to make sure you get appointment requests to your practice in good time.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ’We continue to work closely with industry and partners to ensure patients receive the appointments they need and practices are reimbursed fairly.’

The Government has told manufacturers of both branded and generic GP to stockpile six weeks’ worth of sessions, so that people would still get their appointments if we have a no-deal Brexit.

Federations, practices and patients have been told not to stockpile their own GPs.

’Shortages have been a problem for some years. It’s a fluctuating problem. They are now worse than ever,’ said former Liberal Democrat MP Sandra Gilby. Potential supply problems because of Brexit have led to Health Education England being asked to keep a ’buffer stock’, Ms Gilby told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ’We have not seen any evidence of current GP appointment supply issues linked to EU exit preparations.’

With apologies to the BBC for appopriation of its original article: Pharmacists warn of a ‘surge’ in shortage of common medicines

Dr Samir Dawlatly is a GP in Birmingham

 

 

Readers' comments (10)

  • excellent!

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  • checks date....no not April 1
    Stephanie couldnt get her anti-inflammatory appointment.
    have i died ?

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  • @12:20 too funny.

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  • Lol

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  • The really sad thing is it could so easily have been the Daily Whinge .....

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  • GEN-PREXIT

    As a locum.. I have to say the situation is like the musicians on the titanic..
    its getting to the point where the ship is so sunk that even the musicians think about stopping ...
    ... maybe one last song ???
    Service is really stretched thin
    the public sees the premises and think all is hunky dory
    inside you may have one gp and nurse stretched across everything..

    The problem is confounded as no sane locum would want to step in and cover in this stretched manner either

    Practices seem more than happy to allow agencies to continue to raise prices but these do not get passed onto the locums

    Do not stock pile locums ... ???
    I would say form a bank of locum contacts and be happy to pay them slightly less than you would an Agency


    ok go on then .. one last song

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  • GEN-PREXIT

    How do you stockpile GP'S ??
    Canned none perishable goods

    Bottom line
    Fund the numbers of doctors required
    or lose the doctors
    and eventually lose the service as staff burnout
    (or is this the plan all along ??)

    e-consults are taking off locally
    lets await the medico-legal fall out

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  • GEN-Prexit- 100% spot on

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  • "Stephanie has experienced her GPs being out of stock before, but they usually reappear reasonably quickly."

    What?

    Anoneemus--best comment this year

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  • a fairly ridiculous article Pulse ! I was GP partner 22 years, now locum NHS and private telemed and practices grateful and happy to pay our not OTT rates ;we have no sick pay, holiday pay , la de dah , so stop fussing

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