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Hello UK sessional GPs,
I’m very excited to be writing as the new chair of the BMA sessional GPs committee. I’m grateful to have been elected to steer the sessional GP ship over the coming three years and I hope I will do the role justice. I want us to be as responsive as possible, so if there are any issues you would like us to focus on or areas where you need our help then please email us at [email protected]
I want to say a huge thank you to the outgoing chair Zoe Norris for her hard work and dedication. She has worked tirelessly to get sessional GPs on the radar and in the room where we need to be, and I hope to build on the work she and the team have done.
For some background, I’m a London-based portfolio GP. I’m currently a locum and I am about to take on a salaried role. I have an urgent care system role as well as working in a busy inner-city emergency department and I’ve just stepped down as chair of my local OOH organisation. Having a variety of roles is increasingly common and I hope my experience will lend itself to understanding the many needs we have as a group.
I intend to make my time in the job count. I want to look back in three years and see sessionals in a better position than we are today. There are a few specific objectives I would like to deliver, the most pressing of these is pensions. I want us to be confident that our pension contributions are in the right place, recorded accurately and that GPs know what they are getting. I want GPs who work outside of practice settings to have access to the model contract if they would like it. I want to improve GP retention in the UK and make it easier for GPs to return from abroad. More broadly, I want this to be the time when sessionals are properly recognised with parity of esteem – both within the profession and with stakeholders.
As sessionals approach 50% of the GP workforce there has never been a greater variety of interesting and unusual roles for us to work in. Our job is to make sure that whatever you choose and wherever in the UK you work, you have access to the best possible working conditions and environment. Whether you are a salaried GP in Swindon, an OOH GP in Edinburgh or working for an online provider from the comfort of your home, if you have an issue we can help with please do get in touch at [email protected]
Ben is chair of the BMA sessional GPs committee
Pensions for locums - one word: annualisation! Still fuming about this, updates and continued action please!
Congratulations on your election. I agree with Deborah about annualisation. We also need to sort out the very outdated model contract and job plan (which many practices ignore anyway) because there is so little recognition of how much of our work is non-contact work. Most job plans have laughably little time for the huge amount of admin needed.
Congratulations Ben on your appointment. I’m just a little concerned that the term sessional GPs may be being abused by some to confuse others when the term portfolio GP should be used. At the UK LMC conference in March 2019, the statement “we are all sessional to a degree” was used to describe non-salaried non-Locum GPs with portfolio roles.
Can you please comment upon this. Salarieds and locums are facing their own contractual challenges and obligations. We are one cohort facing the challenges of general practice together in our regions/nationally.
Congratulations. Pension annualisation and no death in service benefit key for me
Agree with your objectives and comments already posted. Getting any information about my Pension from PCSE would also be helpful - I understand that those further away from Pension age are not currently a priority. However I think we are all entitled to a Total Rewards statement, and these are not forthcoming when requested and should be automatic. Please make them more accountable!
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