The GP Stories you almost missed – Working abroad, Indemnity cover, OOH, GP Contract
Recruiters are enticing GPs to work abroad by highlighting flexible working in places like New Zealand and contrasting that against plans for 7 day working in the UK. Figures from the GMC reveal that in 2014 over 800 GPs applied for the certificates needed to work abroad.
The cost of indemnity cover is escalating owing to GPs extending their cover for 7 day working. According to the GPC, costs are unnecessarily high as medical defence organisations are basing their calculations on urgent OOH work, though the majority of work is routine and non-emergency care. The rising cost of indemity has led to at least one GP federation to broker their cover directly with an insurance company, saving their GPs an estimated 75%. The RCGP is to offer a federation support programme to help practices start working together, NHS England is funding the project.
Scotland’s Information Services Division have published figures that show Scottish GPs are already providing almost 1 million OOH consultations. Meanwhile, in North Wales, paramedics, instead of GPs and nurses, have been attending home visits at evenings and weekends owing to a shortage of staff. A single-handed practice in Scotland has failed to attract any applicants to replace the retiring GP who left at the end of June. NHS Highland has been running the practice and were offering a salary of £80k, golden hello and relocation package.
The new GP returner scheme has attracted 60 GPs since March, however, the majority of these were in London (18) and the South of England (23). The two areas worst hit by GP shortages, North East of England and East Midlands, attracted only 1 GP each.
The Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration has recommended removing a supplement paid to GP trainees that accounts for 31% of their salary (worth £14,328 in the first year of training). The BMA has warned that this would be a “disaster” and compound the shortage of doctors applying to GP.
NHS England is to offer practices a contract with “simple and attractive” conditions as an alternative to the national contract. The move is part of a shake-up of the way primary and secondary care is organised and funded. Practices will be given the ‘right of return’ back to the national contract. Whilst the GPC is looking into ‘payment by activity’ as it prepares for the 2016/17 contract negotiations.
Health 1000: The Wellness Practice is a new practice set up in the King George Hospital, East London, aimed at patients who are at risk of frequent hospital admissions. To be eligible to register, patients must have 5 or more specific long-term health conditions such as coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, heart failure, stroke, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dementia and depression. Each of the 1000 patients at the practice will have access to a key worker, consultants, physiotherapists, geriatricians, occupational therapists and a social worker in addition to GPs and nurses.
The RCGP and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have joined forces to allow GPs to volunteer for between 6 and 24 months in sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. The projects will run for three years and focus on family medicine.
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