BMA Cymru Wales has raised concerns over the current existence of separate Medical Performers Lists for England and Wales which is making it difficult for GP colleagues in border areas to cover for each other in already hard-pressed services.
In a one-day inquiry on the proposal for an All-Wales Medical Performers List, the BMA has reported the detrimental impacts the separate list has, including the difficulty it causes for GPs in England to take up vacancies in Wales and the limitation it has on the availability of locums who want to work in both England and Wales.
The BMA is calling for mutual recognition between the lists to be prioritised, with aligned standards of entry and consistent induction and refresher schemes to provide quality assurance.
Given the current pressures within the system, enabling individuals to easily work within the workforce is a key priority. There are cases whereby doctors wishing to work in Wales, after a period working in England, have experienced delays in receiving approval, which has led to start dates being delayed or their simply deciding to continue working in England.
Doctors trained outside of the European Economic Area wishing to practice as GPs in the UK must apply for a Certificate of Equivalent GP Registration which is a lengthy and complex process.
Unsuccessful applicants are advised to spend time working in the UK before re-applying for the relevant certificate but cannot do so due to the current Medical Performers’ List regulations. These doctors must therefore compete against prospective GP trainees seeking entry to the UK GP speciality training programme which can be challenging for them.
Dr Charlotte Jones, Chair of the BMA’s Welsh GP Committee, said:
“Given the current pressures, an all-Wales performers list maintained by an appropriate body, would provide much needed support to services. Currently, GPs on the English performers list may not be able to immediately work in Wales and colleagues in nearby practices on either side of the border are unable to simply cover for each other. Despite positive changes being made to the Medical Performers List in recent years, the implementation of the changes is still creating problems and delays for GPs which is disappointing.
At a time when there is a shortage of GPs and increasing pressures, our members have informed us of cases whereby doctors working in England wishing to return to Wales are waiting months for applications to be approved with start dates being delayed. This kind of bureaucracy is unacceptable and we would encourage measures to be taken on a UK-wide level to address these challenges.”
The BMA is calling for:
- The introduction of a true all-Wales performers list maintained by an appropriate body with a national remit
- Consideration to be given to the process for ceasing to be on a certain performers list, which is known to hinder mobility
- Ease of access to Medical Performers List registration for Doctors returning to Wales
- Measures to be taken on a UK-wide level to address how the registration process assesses the equivalence of medical training undertaken outside the UK
Notes to editors
1. The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
2. The written response to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee's one-day inquiry on an All-Wales Medical Performers List can be found here:
For further information please contact:
BMA Cymru Wales, Fifth floor, 2 Caspian Point, Caspian Way, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF10 4DQ
Telephone: 0292 047 4608
Mobile: 074 08865452
Email: [email protected]