Chief Medical Officer 'too busy' to discuss 15,000 locums

England's CMO Sir Liam Donaldson is 'too busy' to discuss the plight of the country's 'lost tribe of locums', according to the National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP).

Sir Liam Donaldson
Sir Liam Donaldson

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chief executive officer, received the email from Sir Liam’s office turning down a request for a meeting last week.

Last year Healthcare Republic reported that a quarter of GPs worked freelance as locums in the NHS but were not represented. Dr Fieldhouse sought a meeting with the CMO to discuss their plight.

Dr Fieldhouse said: ‘A significant proportion of GPs are working in sub-standard conditions with forced underperformance.’

He gave as an example locums working in one practice sharing a username and password.

The NASGP is pushing for DoH funding. Ideas include locum support teams or chambers which could reintegrate underperforming GPs within a managed environment and offer GP training.

Dr Fieldhouse also suggests a £66-a-year fee locums could pay to improve their support.

After being contacted by Healthcare Republic, a DoH spokesperson said: 'We are keen to meet with the NASGP and hear its views. The NASGP request has been passed to the departmental lead.

'The CMO has a very large number of requests for meetings and a heavy post bag of correspondence.'

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