Exclusive: Locum GPs advised to consider switching from BMA representation

Locum GPs might want to consider an alternative to BMA representation, according to the National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP).

Dr Fieldhouse: ‘Having more that one provider is always going to be a healthy option.'
Dr Fieldhouse: ‘Having more that one provider is always going to be a healthy option.'

Speaking at GP newspaper's Locums Conference in Hammersmith, west London, on Tuesday, Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chief executive of the NASGP, said that the BMA might not always be the best union for locums and therefore they may want to consider joining the Medical Practitioners' Union (MPU).

Dr Fieldhouse said: ‘If you’re an employee and an employer having the same trade union is not very healthy.’

He added that the NASGP had a situation where a salaried GP was being bullied by a practice and she went to the BMA. The BMA then went to the practice to advise them of the complaint.

The BMA tried to mediate between the two parties and the salaried GP felt like they had gone over to the other side, Dr Fieldhouse said.

Although cases like that are rare, it is always a good idea to have a choice and an alternative union, Dr Fieldhouse said.

‘Having more that one provider is always going to be a healthy option,’ he added.

Barrie Brown, Unite’s national officer for health who works with the MPU said: ‘The real issue for us in the MPU and for the NASGP is to provide something that gives security and gives confidence in the way in which the opportunity to get the support as and when required is there.'

Mr Brown said that the MPU had a great deal on experience in dealing with the private sector which may be beneficial for doctors in the future.

Dr Vicky Weeks, chairman of the GPC's sessional GPs' subcommittee, said that it is important to ensure all union members are well represented.

Dr Weeks said: ‘There is still much more work to do, especially around representing locums and locum issues.’

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