The National Association of Sessional GPs is running a survey of its members, to gauge how many have so far received cascade alerts from PCTs with any advice or guidance on how to deal with worried patients or suspected swine flu cases.
So far 85% of the 186 locum GPs polled say they haven’t received any flu alerts from their host trust. Department of Health and joint guidance from the RCGP and the BMA all stipulate trusts should use their cascade alert systems to keep locum GPs informed about local guidance and protocols.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chief executive of the National Association of Sessional GPs, accused PCTS of ‘incompetence’ and warned the lack of information could prevent locum GPs from effectively responding to a potential health crisis.
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Dr Fieldhouse told Pulse: ‘This represents 13,000 GPs – 34% of the UK’s total number of GPs – who are being left out of flu pandemic alerts. This is the first ever test of PCT’s performer’s lists quality in their 10 year history.
‘Not only does this incompetence threaten to undermine the government’s response to this emergency but also highlights the inability of PCTs to manage even the most basic information when it comes to sessional GPs.
‘PCTs must work urgently to upgrade the emergency cascade system to include all GPs, and the government needs to urgently review the management of Performers Lists throughout the UK.’