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Consortium work

Q: We are three GP partners and I lead on commissioning. I am also a member of our local consortium board. One of my partners has hinted that I am not pulling my weight at the practice, although I employ a locum when absent from the practice. How can I calm the situation? Most board meetings with the PCT are during office hours.

A: You should discuss this with both your partners after recognising that there is cause for concern. I suggest you tactfully refer them to the Health Bill and in particular to clause 24 which reads:

'(1) In section 89 of the National Health Service Act 2006 (general medical services contracts: required terms), after subsection (1) insert-

"(1A) Regulations under subsection (1) may in particular make provision-

(a) for requiring a contractor who provides services of a prescribed description (a 'relevant contractor') to be a member of a commissioning consortium;

(b) as to arrangements for securing that a relevant contractor appoints one individual to act on its behalf in the dealings between it and the consortium to which it belongs;

(c) for imposing requirements with respect to those dealings on the individual appointed for the purposes of paragraph (b);

(d) for requiring a relevant contractor, in doing anything pursuant to the contract, to act with a view to enabling the consortium to which it belongs to discharge its functions (including its obligation to act in accordance with its constitution).'

In the ensuing discussion, agree as partners who is to be the practice lead as in (b) and recognise that your current role is likely to be defined in statute.

Would a regular salaried GP instead of a locum or one of your partners increasing their commitment help to provide more continuous cover?

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