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Sessional GP sign-off ‘required for all practice commissioning decisions’

By Gareth Iacobucci

The GPC has called for salaried GPs and even locums to be given sign-off on all commissioning decisions made by their employing practices, including which GP consortia they join.

The GPC voted yesterday to include ‘all GPs working at the practice’ in decisions made during the transition to GP commissioning consortia, including salaried GPs and also potentially locums.

A motion, unanimously passed by the GPC, instructs GP partners that they must not make commissioning decisions at practice level without the buy-in of their sessional doctors.

The motion reads: ‘Where a practice-level decision is required, for example regarding the practice choice of proposed consortium, every practice must have in place a mechanism which ensures that all GPs working at the practice are appropriately involved in the decision-making process.’

A separate strand of the motion, also passed unanimously, stated that all transitional arrangements must include a democratic electoral process that is ‘inclusive and open’ to all GPs ‘whatever their contractual status, and with one GP, one vote’.

A similar vote at the BMA’s Special Representative Meeting earlier this week called for consortia to hold elections that are ‘open to local GPs whatever their contractual status’ – following the testimony of one salaried GP who warned sessional doctors were being denied the chance to vote in elections to leadership roles.

Dr Beth McCarron-Nash, GPC negotiator and a GP in St Columb Major, Cornwall, said: ‘Being part of a consortium is not a contractual issue, it is an issue for all GPs. We all have to work together if we are to make this work. The GPC is very supportive of sessional doctors on this issue.’

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman added: ‘We are concerned [exclusion] is still going on. We cannot tell LMCs or consortia what to do, we are merely advising them on good practice’.

Sessional GP sign-off ‘required for all practice commissioning decisions’