Valerie raises Locum GPs at Health Questions

On Tuesday 21 October 2014 at Health Questions, Valerie raised the issue of Locum GPs.

Valerie asked:

“Will the Secretary of State explain why NHS England has entered into a contract with a company based in Kent to provide GP services, when my constituents have just seen a string of locum GPs at a higher cost to the NHS?”

Valerie said:

“I was disappointed with the response from the Secretary of State for Health. He did not answer my question and my constituents are still finding it difficult to see the same GP rather than a locum.”

The Secretary of State for Health replied:

“Wherever we can avoid it, we do not want to use locum GPs or nurses or agency doctors, because they are much more expensive—our spend on that is far too high—but sometimes when there are issues of patient safety we need a quick solution. That is what has happened in response to the Francis report: as well as recruiting 5,000 additional nurses on a permanent basis, we are using extra agency nurses. However, we hope to bring those numbers down.”