The Government has decided to delay plans to allow Specialty and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors to work in general practice while ‘working through further details’, the BMA has claimed.
The NHS and Government have committed to allowing SAS doctors to work in general practice, but have not yet given a timetable as to when this will happen.
However, the BMA has now claimed that the Government plan has faced a setback and have been delayed from the unspecified date.
According to the BMA, the decision follows a consultation exercise which saw ‘significant opposition’ from the doctors’ union and other stakeholders.
However, the Department of Health and Social Care told Pulse it is still ‘committed’ to plans ‘to facilitate ways in which doctors, other than GPs, can work as part of multidisciplinary teams to help increase practice capacity’.
But in an update to members, the BMA’s GP Committee for England said: ‘Plans to permanently introduce flexibilities to allow many non-GPs to deliver primary care services without being on the Medical Performers List in England have been delayed by DHSC, following a consultation exercise which saw significant opposition by the BMA and others.
‘DHSC still intends to press ahead with its plans at a future date but acknowledged further details need to be worked through in discussions with stakeholders.’
GPCE added that it ‘will continue to oppose the proposals’ in line with the position statement published in May this year, which had warned the SAS doctors proposal could cause them to be open to exploitation under a ‘two-tier system’.
A DHSC spokesperson said: ‘Flexibilities put in place during the pandemic to support GPs will remain while we continue to engage with stakeholders as promised.
‘We are committed to working with partners to facilitate ways in which doctors, other than GPs, can work as part of multidisciplinary teams to help increase practice capacity.’
GMC chief executive Charlie Massey has been one of the most vocal proponents of SAS doctors joining general practice, including during his keynote Pulse LIVE conference speech this March.