The EBPC GP Experience: Dr Edward Harrison

I am a newly qualified GP, one and a half years post qualification and like many of us, I was somewhat bemused and confused at the different options that are available workwise.

It can be quite confusing to fully understand the pros and cons of the options available. Taking on a partnership or a salaried role has the benefits of continuous reliable work, patient continuity and working in a close-knit team to name but a few.  On the other side this comes with the managerial responsibility involved in partnership and the endless results, paperwork processing, telephone calls and meetings involved in both. Locum work in practice has the benefit of avoiding these additional workload stresses at the cost of continuity and at the satisfaction in patient care that comes with following up and being intricately involved in every aspect of day to day patient care. Then in addition to that comes a very different challenge clinically which can complement the other types of work really well – out of ours work.

Since qualification I have worked between 6-9 sessions per week with a mixture of clinical and managerial work but throughout this time working for East Berkshire Out of hours has been a perfect complement to this work.  I do regular extended hours at the GP Hub which fits into evenings well after a regular work day and I can still get home to tuck my 3 month old daughter into bed..! In addition to this I do out of hours shifts on weekends and when I have availability during the week. It is a very different clinical challenge with a wide range of skills from telephone triage, clinic appointments and home visits across east Berkshire. The clinical work is quite different from day to day general practice and really has helped to continue to develop my clinical management of acute pathology and presentations.

Working for East Berkshire Out of hours covers very different patches with a very wide range of patient challenges that I don’t meet within my day to day work. From leafy Sunningdale to built up central Slough and Bracknell, the patient groups and challenges faced provide a really interesting and  varied mix. One moment you can be providing reassurance to a concerned mother over the phone in the late evening to visiting that elderly patient at 3am in the morning who is so thankful you were able to come out and provide advice and treatment that prevents them needing a hospital admission. All of this care is very rewarding in a different way to daytime practice.

The added benefit of being able to fit it around other work means there is always the possibility of doing or more less work at different times according to whether you are saving for that dream honeymoon or that house extension you’ve been meaning to do for ages.

East Berkshire Out of hours have a fantastic close-knit team that feels more like a family than an employer. They are very supportive, flexible, and keen to work around what is best for you.  

I highly recommend newly qualified GPs to consider East Berkshire Out Of Hours work as a perfect complement to other types of work as a GP.