25 May 2012

Engaging Sessional GPs in Clinically-Led Commissioning

Hundreds have responded to an RCGP consultation conducted as part of a wider project to ensure sessional GPs are engaged in clinically-led commissioning.

Two RCGP surveys have attracted responses from more than 620 locum and salaried GPs, as well as from 140 emerging Clinical Commissioning Groups.

Launched earlier this year, the project aims to gather intelligence on best practice, models of inclusion, engagement and leadership, and to identify successes and potential barriers to locum and salaried GPs contributing to developments in commissioning.

The project is being run in collaboration with representatives from the Department of Health, General Practitioners Committee (GPC) of the BMA, Committee of General Practice Education Directors (COGPED), Conference of Postgraduate Medical Deans (COPMED), Family Doctor Association (FDA), National Association of Primary Care (NAPC), National Association of sessional GPs (NASGP) and the NHS Alliance.

A comprehensive report on the survey findings will be released this summer. Information gathered in the course of the project will be used to develop guidance and advice to enable CCGs to better engage with sessional GPs.

RCGP Honorary Secretary Professor Amanda Howe said: "Clinically-led commissioning is a challenge for all GPs, including those who are not partners in a practice - so it’s imperative we work to ensure that CCGs are benefitting from the experience and perspectives of sessional GPs as well as others.

"Many sessional GPs aren’t aware of opportunities for involvement, and others said they would play an active part with more encouragement, guidance and training. CCGs may be unaware of how much sessional GPs could contribute to their work."

Dr Susan Stone, Project Clinical Lead said: "Our consultation showed examples of CCGs working very well with sessional GPs, and we can use this information to develop guidance and advice to enable others to achieve better, more effective engagement."


RCGP Press office: 020 3188 7574/7575/7576
Out of hours:  0203 188 7659
Email: press@rcgp.org.uk


A sessional GP is one who is a fully qualified GP but not a partner in a practice. Sessional GP is a term used to refer to general practitioners who work as locums, are salaried or on a retainer.

Sessional GPs make up between 25 and 50 per cent of the GP workforce.

The surveys were produced by sessional GPs, working together with those involved in clinically-led commissioning, to ensure the questions were relevant to the unique needs of both the surveyed groups.

The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of more than 44,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.