Sessional GPs – the ball is in our court

The Practice Blog on the BMA website reported on last month’s LMC Conference, and the Sessional GP Subcommittee attended via GPC.

As reported last month, the format of the conference was different, and apart from an afternoon of parallel sessions, the number of actual motions was less and focused on the response of the profession to the government and the crisis in General Practice.

Of particular importance to sessional GPs, we debated a motion for the Subcommittee wholly rejecting the Department of Health’s fixing of maximum indicative locum rates, and reaffirming that locum rates should be a matter of mutual agreement between the practice and the locum. (See How will changes to indicative locum rates impact you?) I am pleased to report that the motion was carried in all its parts.

At conference it was good to see and meet up with some familiar faces and indeed meet some new and energetic colleagues. However, as a proportion of the GP workforce, we remain underrepresented at conference. From the returned conference survey results only 17% of those GPs who attended were locum and salaried GPs, compared to just under 60% of contractors GPs, and is a reflection of our continuing lack of representation at grassroots LMC level. Not just from a representational point of view, but with the roll out of devolution, vanguards, new models of care and the formation of networks/federations, it is increasingly important that Sessional GPs are there at LMC level.

The ball is firmly in our court in this matter, and it is for Sessional GPs to put themselves forward when and where we can.

As part of our support for you, we are currently revising the Sessional GPs and LMCs-working together more effectively guidance, and this will be re-launched next month. The guidance is aimed not just at Sessional GPs, but as the title suggests, LMCs, and should be helpful for all.