Hundreds of locums not being paid for appraisal

Hundreds of locums across England are not being paid for taking part in appraisals, GP leaders have warned.

Dr Vicky Weeks: ‘This will affect hundreds of locums across various areas in England.'
Dr Vicky Weeks: ‘This will affect hundreds of locums across various areas in England.'

The GPC has called on NHS England to ensure that all locums receive the fee for being appraised, which varies across the country but is usually approximately £300.

From 1 April NHS England’s 27 area teams took over responsibility for paying the fee to locums from PCTs.

But some PCTs had not been paying the fee to locums in a bid to cut costs. Now, NHS England has only guaranteed payments for locums in those areas which already paid it, the GPC has said.

GPC negotiator and revalidation lead Dr Dean Marshall, who met with NHS England on 4 April to discuss the issue, said the problem had still not been resolved.

‘The DH has previously said that all locum GPs should receive the payment and the funding has gone to the area teams to ensure that this happens,' he said. 'We have had reports from across the country that there are areas not paying for it including in Birmingham, Manchester and Staffordshire.

‘We have made it clear that DH guidance said that all locum GPs should get some payment for appraisal.’

GPC sessional GP subcommittee chairwoman Dr Vicky Weeks said the funding should be guaranteed for locums across the board.

‘This will affect hundreds of locums across various areas in England. It should be across the board. Now, there are problems reported in Manchester, Birmingham, Shropshire and Staffordshire. Some PCTs in London stopped paying it and then we kicked up a fuss and they reinstated it.

‘One of the problems with a big bang re-organisation is that people do not know who is responsible for this anymore.

‘I had one GP who was told to send an email but the address wasn’t valid, the phone number they were given was also no longer valid.

‘There are some reports that area teams are stopping it.’

A spokeswoman for NHS England and the area teams in the north west were both unavailable to comment at the time of going to press.

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