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RCGP pleads for GPs to locum in 'inadequate' practice as part of support package

Exclusive The RCGP has sent an email to GPs pleading for them to provide locum support for a practice placed in the CQC’s ‘special measures’ following an inspection, in a move the GPC says fails to ‘engender any confidence’ in the new support process given to struggling practices.

The email - which was sent to GPs as a part of an RCGP support package - said that a practice based in East Anglia was ‘desperately looking for a GP’, and is ‘willing to pay £600 a day’.

But the GPC attacked the wording of the email, and said it highlighted major problems with the special measures regime introduced by the CQC and the support provided to practices.

This is the first reported action of the pilot programme set up by the RCGP and NHS England, which offers practices a support package if they have received an overall CQC inspection rating of ‘inadequate’.

It had already come under criticism for charging practices £5,000 to access it - a figure described by the GPC as the ‘final straw’ for many practices - which will then be matched by the practice’s respective NHS England local area team.

The email, which was sent to scores of GPs in the region by the RCGP Special Measures Support Team, read: ‘A general practice in East Anglia which has been put into special measures is desperately looking for a GP who could see patients and also provide some clinical supervision for a GP.

‘They are willing to pay £600 a day and are ideally looking for someone for four days a week for the next four weeks.’

But the GPC’s contracts and regulation subcommittee Dr Robert Morley criticised the wording of the email.

Dr Morley said: ‘I’m rather surprised by the appearance of this email and particularly by the language used by the RCGP Special Measures Support Team. It certainly doesn’t engender any confidence in its capacity and capability to manage the support process.

‘This sort of thing just lends credence to the views of those who think that the whole idea of CQC’s special measures has been brought in without being properly thought through and without considering the consequences.’

Dr Helen Crawley, clinical lead for the RCGP Struggling Practices Programme, said: ‘GP advisors for the Special Measures Support Team are carefully selected to provide leadership and expertise in supporting practices that are in difficulty. They may call on other doctors or primary health workers from the local area to work alongside them on the “turnaround” team.

‘The costs of the RCGP advisors and turnaround team members contracted to the RCGP are covered by the £5k charged to each practice. The practice may choose to appoint new staff members or locums during turnaround or use additional sources of support. The RCGP team will liaise with the practice, all sources of support and key stakeholders.’

Earlier in the year, the CQC said that practices found to be inadequate by the CQC will immediately be put into special measures, and that there will no longer be a six-month period for practices to rectify problems before being put into special measures, although practices will still have a year before their registration is cancelled. 

Readers' comments (29)

  • In 30 years of GP life this is the first time I have ever come across anything like this. The NHS is just broken and the RCGP is trying to be a sticking plaster without any stick.

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  • Well, that will solve the problem RCGP! Heres an idea, perhaps some of the rcgp committe people could climb down out of their ivory towers for a few days and actually put in some sessions themselves. Is this really meant to be "support" for the practices affected by the punitive measures imposed by the CQC and their minions?

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  • "The costs of the RCGP advisors and turnaround team members contracted to the RCGP are covered by the £5k charged to each practice. "
    So who exactly thought putting struggling practices under more financial distress was a good idea?

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  • This is amazing and not in a nice way.As of 4.15pm,all the mouth peices+politcos asking the front line jobbing GPs to do their job for them.Sound like their working on the back of a fag packet and making up as they go along.Very very sad indeed.

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  • Could all those ex presidents/chairs of the RCGPs roll up their own sleeves and help by doing locums- also all those who currently practice part time could give up their positions on RCGP cttees and offer their time to assist their colleagues

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  • So in their 'hour of need' after being placed in special measures by the discredited CQC (unintelligent data) the RCGP offers to help for £5,000, the faceless bureaucrats within the College should hang their heads in shame. Would be interested to hear from Maureen Baker regarding this outrageous 'support package'.

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  • Vinci Ho

    What is the 'statutory authority' , if any, possessed by RCGP?
    It appears NHSE and CQC will only 'deal' with the college.
    Only an establishment has the 'right' to decide the lives of individuals.......,.

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  • If it had been the BMA collaborating with such toxic Bodies as the CQC and NHSE people would be resigning in droves!

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  • The boilers for prescription thing made me leave the RCGP. I'm tempted to join so that I can quit again.

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