Sessional GPs miss out on local communications

GP newspaper's Rate Your PCT survey has found that despite repeated appeals to primary care organisations (PCOs), locums and salaried GPs are being excluded from regular mailings.

Dr Fieldhouse: help locums set up information sharing groups
Dr Fieldhouse: help locums set up information sharing groups

GPs in all four countries of the UK said PCOs fail to include them in the routine information cascade to practices.

As a result, they do not hear about new protocols, directives, prescribing guidelines, service updates and local formularies.

A sessional GP in West Sussex told Healthcare Republic: ‘The only communication I ever have is their annual letter about appraisal. Prescribing info? Flu stuff? Education? Commissioning? Conferences? Professional development? Local incentives? LMC? In my dreams...'

Other locums said PCOs fail to inform them about appraisal.

The Rate Your PCT survey results confirm findings from the National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP). Only 20% of almost 450 NASGP respondents received information about pandemic flu last year.

‘It's a phenomenally poor show if the NHS thinks we don't exist,' said NASGP chief executive Dr Richard Fieldhouse. ‘Neither the GPC nor the RCGP have tackled the locum issue.'

He urged the BMA and RCGP to help locums set up groups to share information: ‘Locums need to be enabled. It's too hard to do it alone.'

Dr Vicky Weeks, chairman of the BMA's sessional GP subcommittee, said the BMA was addressing concerns about communication with sessional GPs, and had worked with the NASGP.

The Northern Deanery was reviewing how sessional GP groups could be set up, and the subcommittee had worked with LMCs on this, she added.

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