41 simon abrams power50 2017 41
GP out-of-hours has always been a Cinderella service, but at the moment its main hope of ever going to the ball rests with this Liverpool GP.
Crippling staffing and workload problems have been dramatically worsened by rising indemnity costs, which limit the number of shifts experienced GPs can work.
Urgent Health UK chair Dr Abrams is in the middle of this tempest as the leader of the federation of UK social enterprise out-of-hours organisations. This year he has been a strong voice calling for practical solutions to help providers, singling out indemnity as an area that needs to be solved.
He has a big job this year to stop the Government dragging its heels. A commitment in the GP Forward View to reach a long-term solution for out-of-hours indemnity has yet to materialise and GP leaders are warning the issue will reach crisis point after changes to the discount rate – the formula used to calculate pay outs.
Dr Abrams has highlighted time-and-again why a robust out-of-hours service matters, with its own research showing out-of-hours GPs are keeping hundreds of thousands of patients out of A&E. He has said a 30% increase in the workforce is needed with a Pulse investigation showing one-in-ten areas reporting whole shifts have gone unfilled.
And he has highlighted the role that the poorly thought through political projects, like extended hours pilots offering massive salaries just to attract GPs, have had in making things worse.
Raising the alarm about the parlous state of out of hours
Was a regular Glastonbury reveller