General practitioner GP practices

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Alternative arrangements when employing shared staff

Apart from secondment and joint employment contracts, there is an alternative arrangement where employee can be on 'loan' from Practice A to Practice B for part of the working week (i.e. on a sessional or hourly basis).

In a situation where there is not sufficient work at the original practice, it might be that a proposal for an employee to work part of the week at another practice is suggested as an alternative proposal to that of a variation to working hours. 

Other alternative arrangements include CCG employed staff who do small amounts of audit work in a practice e.g. a prescribing adviser, shared provider companies that work on behalf of a number of practices, the use of joint call centre for managing appointments and telephone triage or an in-hours visiting service for a number of local practices.

See the section below for further information and contact the BMA for further advice.


Managing change

Change within an organisation is inevitable. It is important that any change is managed well through appropriate discussions and consultations with all those involved with a view to reaching agreement on the change. Training, development and regular communication are central to the management of change.

  • Before embarking on any change you need to be clear of the following:
    why are you doing it?
  • what are the intended outcomes?
  • the impact of the change on your business
  • the potential impact on your employees
  • the potential cost of the change
  • the anticipated timescales
  • how you will measure the success of the change.

Once you have identified the proposed change you need to begin appropriate consultations with your staff. Changes to a contract should normally only be made if both the employer and the employee agree. Please contact the BMA for advice if no agreement can be reached.

Please seek advice from the BMA at the earliest opportunity.

The BMA is here to help you as an employer with:

  • understanding your responsibilities
  • providing initial guidance on the appropriate steps to follow
  • explaining the legal framework that you are required to work within as an employer
  • example policies, contracts etc that can be adapted to your individual requirements
  • giving you best practice advice.

This document cannot replace the expert and specific advice on employment issues that you should and can obtain.

This is available as part of your membership through the BMA Employer Advisory Service who can be contacted on 0300 123 123 3 or by email at [email protected]

It is not within the BMA's core remit to provide financial or VAT advice, and practices should contact a financial adviser on any such related issues.

This guidance was jointly produced by BMA Regional Services and the General Practitioners Committee. Please email us at [email protected] if you have any feedback about it.