Introduction to GP Fair

GP Fair is a Social Enterprise aimed at finding work for GP’s in the Birmingham area, without charging exorbitant fees. When a GP joins the scheme they are a Participating GP and when a GP Practice joins they are a Member Practice. Neither side is under any obligation and can leave at any time, except that a GP must complete booked work.

Participating in GP Fair

To become a Participating GP, please register online. Or if you prefer, please email us or call us on 07904 401287 (Office hours: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

You will be asked for some information as follows:

  • Your name and contact detail
  •  Your GMC number
  •  Your qualifications (you must be a qualified GP)
  • Your MDU or MPS membership
  • A recent CPR certificate
  • A recent Safeguarding certificate
  • A recent CRB certificate (If you do not have one, arrangements will be made to obtain one before you start work)
  • We will also check that you are on the Performers List

Although most of this can be submitted online, we speak to all prospects via phone before they become a Participating GP.

Your details

We keep copies of all the documents you provide whilst you are participating, and we will show them to Member Practices if requested. We do not share these details with anyone else. If you leave the scheme, we delete the information unless you ask us to keep it, for instance, if you may return to the scheme at a later date.

Your status

Please remember that as far as GP Fair is concerned you are self employed, even if you are employed by another organization. You are responsible for your own income tax, national insurance, pension contributions, CPD and MDU fees.

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Working in Member Practices

 

Submit your availability

Once you are a Participating GP, you will submit dates that you are available and we will enter them into a central diary.



Receive work

When a Member Practice contacts us with dates for which they need cover, they will be given the contact details of GPs who are available at that time. They will then contact the GPs individually. The GP will agree a date, or dates, to work in the Practice. The Practice may contact them again if they feel that the introduction was a success. This should mean that Practices build up relationships with a small number of doctors who feel part of the team and who are treated as a human being, unlike the experience of most agency locums.


Conduct in Member Practices

Participating GPs should arrive on time, familiarise themselves with the computer system, and be polite.

Fees and Invoicing

Participating GP’s must agree a fee with Member Practices before they sit down to do their first surgery. This point is paramount and if not done correctly initially, may cause problems further down the line.

It is up to you how much you wish to ask for, but GP Fair has a view on how much is reasonable, as follows:

  • Newly qualified GP (less than 200 hours of experience post-qualification): £60 an hour plus 14% pension contributions = £68.40 per hour.
  • Experienced GP (200 hours or more post-qualification experience): £65 per hour plus 14% pension contributions = £74.10 per hour.

This compares with the current typical agency fees of £80 – 85 an hour, of which the doctor receives £70.

Invoicing

You must present an invoice to the Practice for the work you have done. You can find excellent invoice templates on Microsoft Office, or we can provide you with one. Typically invoices are presented at the end of each week, or for longer engagements, at the end of each month. It is advisable to keep your own copy of each invoice.

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Overcoming Potential Problems in Practice

Although your experience should be a smooth and pleasant one, on the odd occasion, things can go wrong. We’ve outlined few potential issues that may crop up in your time in Practice.

  1. The practice does not give you your pension contributions. If this happens, let us know and the Practice will be removed from our membership roll. (At present there is no point trying to take practices to court for non-payment of pension contributions, as they will simply say they never received them from NHS England.)
  2. Cancellation. Please try not to cancel less than 48h before a booked surgery. Member Practices are relying on us to find them cover for their day to day medical services, which they have a legal obligation to provide, and which could include on-call and other emergency medical work. It is therefore dangerous as well as discourteous to cancel at short notice. Obviously there will always be the possibility of serious unforeseen circumstances, but GP Fair operates a “2 strikes and you’re out” policy with regard to doctors who cancel at less than 48h notice. In other words, if you cancel at less than 48h notice more than once your participation will be terminated.
  3. If you have small children you’ll need to make a contingency plan for days when they are too ill to go to school or nursery. For example, it would be useful to have a list of people whom you can phone, ideally the night before, if it looks as though your child will be too ill to go out the next day. Although there may be a cost implication for this childcare, it’ll offer you peace of mind and enable you to be a reliable worker, a pre-requisite for a successful career.
  4. Late arrival. Whilst anyone can get stuck in traffic, it is very inadvisable to leave insufficient time for your journey. If however you do get stuck, or lost, contact the surgery, or GP Fair, and let them know. Most Practices prefer to know that you’re on your way even if you will be substantially late, than to know nothing, as they can then inform patients. We keep a log of late arrivals, and doctors who are habitually late may be omitted from offers of work in busier practices.

This list is not conclusive, but any other issues can be dealt with as and when they occur.

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Mentoring, quality improvement work and CPD

As Mentoring and quality improvement work will be started when our list of Participating GPs grows. Watch this space!

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Conclusion

So, this is an overview of how GP Fair works and how you’ll fit in. We hope that you can see yourself becoming a participating GP, enjoying the work, and developing your career as a result. It’s up to you to get out there, smile, shake hands and get yourself a reputation as a bright, professional GP. Soon, hopefully, you’ll become a regular fixture at a small number of Practices where you feel you fit well and, who knows, you may be offered a permanent job. So please do get in touch and I hope we can be of service.

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