GP locums asked to work extra sessions on holiday to ease local workforce shortages

16th July 2021 by NASGP

GP locums asked to work extra sessions on holiday to ease local workforce shortages

A practice manager in Cornwall has been featured by BBC News and Metro after her tweet inviting GP locums to work at her surgery went viral.

Nicola Davies, practice manager at The Roseland Surgeries in southern Cornwall and a founding member at Institute of General Practice Management, posted: “If you’re a GP coming down to Cornwall on holiday, and you fancy a locum session or two (to help pay for the extortionate costs of the hols) please give me a shout….you might like what you see!”

GP locums and practice managers are overworked and overstretched this summer, like many colleagues in general practice.

GP locums’ concerns around workload have been exacerbated during the pandemic, Pulse warned in a feature last week.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, GP locum and chair of NASGP, said: “Cornwall is, without doubt, the UK’s premiere summer holiday destination, as anyone who is trying to book a holiday there will know. And although this story has been picked up as quite a light hearted news item by the press, it is concerning that even picture postcard fishing villages with azure skies set against a turquoise sea struggle to recruit flexible GPs. Although Cornwall has its share of deprivation, there are far less popular areas of the UK with greater deprivation that struggle with this problem all year long, not just in the summer.

“It’s important to emphasise the need of taking a proper holiday without inadvertently making GPs feel guilty to go on holiday, or there being an expectation that GPs can cross cover each other whilst actually on holiday, as if many of us aren’t feeling overworked already. But this does also illustrate how working as a GP locum can be a hugely valuable component of the NHS workforce.

“Taking a more proactive position, NASGP is already working with locums in Cornwall to establish a the Peninsular Locum Chambers network, which can provide a long term recruitment and retention solution, locally owned and powered by our software LocumDeck that helps practices like Nicola’s to plan and book locums in advance.”

Log in to LocumDeck to post or request GP locum sessions anywhere in the UK.

"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!). It would be good if all locums used it, as then it would be so much easier for me to track my bookings and check their availability without emailing or texting them, waiting for a reply and then emailing back to confirm. It’s a great place for their documents to sit also. 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 in St Ives

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