Site traffic died down in July and August, but on 30 August we returned to the same numbers of users as 28 June – signalling a return to the activity levels we expect, with early figures suggesting LocumDeck bookings will double month on month in September.
LocumDeck is growing rapidly as a platform. Last month, the site saw more than double the number of GP locums join and invoice for work through the platform, compared with August 2020.
Independent surveys confirm that locum use was climbing. A survey of 270 GP partners published in July found that a quarter of practices had significantly increased use of locums in six months.
Workforce statistics from March 2021 show that the GP workforce has only grown by 111 fully-qualified GPs since March 2020. There has also been a 2.8% increase for all FTE GPs, including registrars, while FTE numbers fell by over 900 in the year to March 2021.
Practices outside of urban areas are fighting particularly hard to meet demand for appointments. Last week, Devon CCG partnered with NASGP to recruit GP locums for the third pilot of its remote working system in the hopes that GP locums outside the county can bolster local efforts.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, said: “It’s thrilling to see that the sheer hard work and dedication that our small team of 12, who have been working throughout the pandemic, behind the scenes, to build such a functional IT platform, that is bringing tangible benefits to both GP locums, salaried GPs and, of course, practices.
“With its availability pre-sets, pensions paperwork automations and clear process for setting rates and terms, LocumDeck is the best way for GP locums to secure work and manage work, and stay in control. Because of this, countless locums have been finding it much easier to manage their GP locum portfolio, saving money and helping free up their time.
“And also at the same time, LocumDeck helps thousands of practices adopt a sustainable way to eliminate agency fees and develop richer professional relationships with the GP locums in their area.”