GPs must be prevented from poaching patients

GPs are being urged to insert post termination clauses in new staff contracts to stop them poaching patients when practice boundaries disappear.

Employment law expert Alison Graham, an associate at legal firm Veale Wasbrough Vizards, raised the issued at the Managing Change in General Practice conference in Bristol.

She said that when boundaries disappear practices need to consider protecting their patient list should a GP, practice manager or partner leave and join a nearby practice.

‘With patients free to move practices what you don't want is for staff to take information about the practice and your patients to another practice down the road. Practices need to consider what is there in place to stop a GP taking patients with them?’

She said that in other professions post termination clauses in contracts are commonplace and practices have the same right to insert such clauses.

‘For GPs it’s an alien concept but the clauses are common place in dentist contracts. In fact dentists top the list of professions who enforce such restrictions,’ she said.

But, she added: ‘What you can't do is stop a GP from working but it is reasonable to place restrictions that are limited by time and geography.’

Dr Lizzie Croton, a GP in Birmingham said such proposals didn’t surprise here. ‘It’s a sign of times,’ she said. ‘It makes me feel very uncomfortable.’

She added: ‘Patients may well follow a good GP, though. Maybe practices will have to work harder to hold on to patients.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:


Just published

Mobile phone

GPs urge caution over plan for NHS health checks to go digital

GP leaders have warned that changes to the NHS health checks programme must be evidence-based...

Debbie Boughtflower

How career coaching can transform the lives of veterans

GPs across England and Wales can refer patients who used to work in the armed forces...

RCGP chair Professor Kamila Hawthorne

RCGP raises 'major concerns' over practice-level appointments data

The RCGP has written to health and social care secretary Steve Barclay warning that...

Labour shadow health and social care secretary Wes Streeting

GPs condemn 'ignorant' Labour rhetoric over access to appointments

Doctors' leaders have accused the Labour party of 'demonising' GPs after it claimed...

coins

Government NHS pension reform plans 'too little too late', warns BMA

Government plans to boost retention of doctors through reforms to the NHS pension...

Child in bed with a fever

GPs told to have 'low threshold' for prescribing antibiotics in possible strep A cases

GPs have been urged to have a 'low threshold' for prescribing antibiotics and hospital...