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BMA surveys GPs about employment as ‘increasing numbers’ struggle to find work

BMA surveys GPs about employment as ‘increasing numbers’ struggle to find work

GP locums are being asked to share their experiences of the current employment crisis as part of a BMA survey.

The doctors’ union said it has heard from ‘increasing numbers’ of GP locums that they are ‘having difficulties in obtaining suitable locum work’, and that the nature of locum work ‘has become ever more challenging’.

It comes after Pulse revealed that GPs are driving across England, staying in hotels overnight and driving up to four hours on a daily basis to get locum work amid a shortage of shifts available.

GP locums told Pulse that they are being forced to travel dozens of miles to find sessions available, with some travelling ‘from Cumbria to Cornwall’ or willing to accept shifts anywhere in the country.

Now the BMA has launched a locum employment survey to gather the latest data on the crisis ‘to bolster their campaigning and lobbying work on the issue’.  

Questions include whether GPs think that locum work ‘availability’ and ‘suitability’ have reduced in the past two years and whether the additional roles reimbursement scheme (ARRS); insufficient practice funding; a saturated GP locum market; or other factors have contributed to this.

The survey, which will be open until 9 June, also asks how far GPs have had to travel to secure locum work and if this has changed in the past few years.

BMA sessional GPs committee chair Dr Mark Steggles said: ‘The BMA is hearing from an increasing and worrying number of GP locums that the nature of locum work has become more challenging, with some struggling to find work in the NHS.

‘BMA surveys provide valuable insights into the situation so to better understand the current locum GP experience and to help us lobby to resolve these challenges, we are inviting GPs across the UK – both members and non-members – who have undertaken locum sessions in the past 12 months to complete the survey.’

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Katie Bramall-Stainer recently told Pulse that general practice has suddenly gone from a recruitment to an employment crisis, driven by the Government’s squeeze of practice finances.  

Pulse reported that requests for GP locums within primary care settings ‘have reduced’ since the last summer with ‘various new ARRS roles coming to the forefront at surgeries’, and locums were asked to consider reducing their rates to secure work.

Last month, GPs also told Pulse there are concerns around ‘misleading’ wording used by some agencies that seem to be pushing for ARRS staff to replace GP locums.

However, earlier this year, the National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP) said that GP practices are in no way ‘cutting back’ on employing locums despite reports of a scarcity of work.



Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

Centreground Centreground 30 May, 2024 2:00 pm

PCN Clinical Directors continue to be paid a bonus minimum of around £2400 to £5000 per month (£100k per year in covid) for a few meetings while the careers of the next generation of doctors and locums continues to be destroyed by their replacement within these PCNs.
Fortunately I am a partner but see the destruction PCNs and PCN Clinical Directors have caused and the legacy they will leave in their wake.

So the bird flew away 30 May, 2024 3:08 pm

The BMA, the Trojan horse for DHSC faking interest in locums’ opinions…what a waste of memb

So the bird flew away 30 May, 2024 3:09 pm

ership fees!