Partners warned over 'bullying' of salaried GPs

Salaried GPs: London LMCs warn practices could face sanctions if they alter contracts without consultation

Some practices are 'bullying' sessional GPs into working for less pay and may be in breach of their contracts, Londonwide LMCs has warned.

Dr Michelle Drage, Londonwide LMCs chief executive, said she had come across 'hard evidence' that partners in London were cutting their salaried GPs' hours and pay without consultation.

She warned that GMS GPs who do not use the BMA's model contract for sessional GPs face PCT sanctions or industrial tribunals.

'We have worrying evidence that sessional GPs are being bullied into accepting less work for lower rates of pay,' said Dr Drage.

'PCTs have the power to ensure that GPs are employed under the model contract. It may be that the PCT takes the practice to task for being in breach of contract,' she said.

Partners changing sessional GPs' contracts without consulting them could face industrial tribunals, warned Dr Drage.

Being found to be in breach of contract by the PCT 'could get very serious, very easily', she said.

The growing divide between sessional GPs and GP partners will be a key topic at this week's LMCs conference.

Pressure on practices to protect falling profits and a surplus of young GPs has heightened the temptation to abuse sessional doctors, said Dr Drage.

Contradictory motions have been tabled for this year's conference, some calling for fairer conditions for salaried GPs and others calling for the 'unrealistic' model contract to be 'radically revised'.

Up to 40 per cent of London's 6,500 GPs are sessional, said Dr Drage. Sessional GPs in the capital who feel unfairly treated should contact Londonwide LMCs which may arrange for a lawyer to be involved, she said.

'The preference though, is that this is sorted out by the profession, for the profession. We would not want this ourselves so why are we doing it to them?' she said.

The BMA is currently consulting on changes to the model contract for sessional GPs.

Salaried GPs

  • Up to 40 per cent of London GPs are salaried
  • GMS practices urged to stick to terms of BMA model contract
  • Practices 'bullying' GPs into pay cuts or fewer hours could breach contracts

tom.ireland@haymarket.com

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