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Government ‘delays plans’ for SAS doctors in general practice, claims BMA

Government ‘delays plans’ for SAS doctors in general practice, claims BMA

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’.

The NHS workforce strategy had most recently confirmed Government plans for doctors to join the primary care workforce.

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.’

Earlier this year, LMC leaders asked the BMA’s GP Committee to reject any changes to the Performers’ List which enable non-CCT holders to work in general practice.

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.


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

David Church 8 August, 2023 1:13 pm

I’ve got an idea that might reduce GP workload and thereby increase capacity within General practice :
Enable SAS doctors to work within secondary care, doing procedures and tests that are needed to shorten waiting lists and reduce workload dumping on GPs. Endoscopies, LFTs, minor surgeries, cardiac US, FITs, Pregnancy scans and unintended pregnancy care, FP clinics, SH clinics, Drug addiction and substance misuse clinics, getting immunisation targets up to 100% for struggling GPs, Psychiatry and Mental Health, especially specialty interests like Autism/ADHD assessments, and perhaps improving prescription concordance prior to hospital discharges?

a S 8 August, 2023 7:11 pm

There is a big difference between not having enough GP posts and not having enough GP’s. Ar the moment there are to few funded posts and work for GP’s to do given the number ot GP’s. There are just too many GP’s now for the amount of work available. Lots of walk ins and UCC shifts are covered by other health care professionals and many GP’s can’t find any work. Giving more shifts to others will just make the situation worse.

Andrew Jackson 9 August, 2023 12:12 pm

They will add to the ARRS roles and then our PCN leaders can break their own profession.

Gerard Bulger 9 August, 2023 2:34 pm

In Australia it works with non-vocationally trained doctors (that is those without FRACGP or ACRRM) are paid less that “full GPs” who are vocationally trained. It’s easier there to ensure that happens as it is NHS funded fee for service the fee are less.

In the UK these doctors SAS will have to be paid/salaried directly by the NHS, earning 25% less that a GP. To encourage to train up for the real thing. Their lanyard needs to state their role.

Just came across a poor ANP who was going round calling himself to patients as consultant clinician….