Fair terms ‘four times more important than pay’ – GP locums

24th November 2023 by NASGP

Fair terms ‘four times more important than pay’ – GP locums

A survey of nearly 800 GP locums has revealed that four times more GPs say fair terms and safe workload is their priority, compared with the number that prioritises their pay.

Some 37% of respondents told us that ‘Fair terms and safe workload’ were the most important thing when deciding where to work as a GP locum. Just 8% of respondents prioritised ‘Good rates’.

And when asked about the most important thing for them as a GP locum, 41% told us it was the ability to set their own terms. By contrast, just 11% said it was the ability to set their own rates.

The survey also found that flexibility is the best thing about being a GP locum, according to the majority of GPs locums. Some 53% of respondents said the best thing about being a GP locum was ‘more flexibility’.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chair, said: “It’s clear from our survey that while pay is certainly a consideration, GP locums are prioritising fair terms and safe workloads above all else. This is a powerful reminder that our profession is driven by a commitment to patient care and personal wellbeing, rather than just financial gain. We often find ourselves in conversations where locum rates are used to undermine us, perhaps as a negotiating tactic, or as a reaction to poor terms and unsafe work environments.

“Our primary goal in developing LocumDeck was to empower GP locums to define their own terms and ensure a safe clinical workload, which in turn benefits the patients we serve. We wanted to create an environment where rates are reflective of the choices we make for our own wellbeing and professional satisfaction.

“In addition, LocumDeck provides practices with the ability to book locums instantly, creating a seamless and efficient process. This has resulted in the creation of a national network of GP locums and practices, offering a sustainable solution for our flexible GP workforce.

“The results of this survey underscore the importance of our mission and reinforce our commitment to continue supporting and advocating for GP locums. Together, we are shaping the future of our profession.”

Read our survey in full.

"I started using LocumDeck as one of our locums used it. It was easy to see her availability and when bookings are made I get confirmation of the booking and can view them on the calendar too. When invoices are sent, I can see it on the site, and digitally sign the pension form (this is one of the best bits!). I can access it from home or my mobile which is useful as when I am not in surgery is when I usually need a locum."

Debbie, practice manager, St Ives

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