By Alisdair Stirling
Exclusive: Some GP consortia are being formed without salaried GP or locum members, as sessional GPs are systematically excluded from many of the new organisations, Pulse has learned.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chief executive of the National Association of Sessional GPs, says he is aware of a number of cases where salaried GPs have been told by PCTs that they cannot be considered for a role on consortia boards because they do not have their own practices and would not hold budgets.
The case of one salaried GP who actively applied to his PCT to get involved in the transition and was rebuffed, had just been reported to the NASGP, Dr Fieldhouse told Pulse.
It follows a warning from the GPC earlier this month that salaried GPs were missing in the formation of the new bodies, despite GP leaders insisting it was ‘vitally important’ that they are involved in discussions.
Dr Fieldhouse said that in some areas, which he declined to name, salaried GPs and locums are being left completely in the dark about the changes taking place locally because information and letters are only distributed to GP partners.
‘There’s both passive exclusion and active,’ he said. ‘Sessional GPs are being told they can´t be involved in consortia boards. Dozens of locum groups all over the country are just getting nowhere and being ignored.’
He added: ‘It´s a huge lost opportunity. I think sessional GPs have got a huge role to play in clinical commissioning but the general rule is that they are not being involved.’
Dr Fieldhouse´s comments come in the wake of a major new study showing that sessional GPs were in danger of becoming the profession’s ‘lost tribe’ due to a shortage of career opportunities and professional isolation. The report by researchers from Durham University cited lack of access to education, information about clinical systems and professional support as key contributing factors.
Watch the full interview with Dr Richard Fieldhouse below.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chief executive of the National Association of Sessional GPs Interview with Dr Richard Fieldhouse