New NIHR study calls for GP locum experiences

30th April 2021 by NASGP

New NIHR study calls for GP locum experiences

‘The use of locum doctors in the NHS: understanding and improving the safety and quality of care’ needs GP locums’ experience.

A new NIHR study is looking for locums, including GP locums, to share their experiences of working as a locum in the UK.

Taking part involves participating in an interview over the phone, Zoom or MS Teams at a time convenient for the GP. Interviews typically take 30 minutes to an hour. With the GP’s permission, interviews will be recorded.

During the interview, a researcher will ask the GP to reflect on experiences of working as a locum.

Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of the NASGP, said: “The fundamental reason why it’s often a struggle to get healthcare systems to take GP locums seriously is that very little research has been undertaken into how we work or the problems we face.

“This research represents a fantastic opportunity to get involved in a project that will hopefully then go on to positively influence how us locums can be integrated into healthcare policy for years to come.”

In an interview with Prof Kieran Walshe, the study lead, Prof Walshe told GP locums: “We want to put to bed some of the sort of myths and preconceptions, and advance knowledge and understanding. For example, are locum behaviours different from permanent doctors and why? I was reading a piece about the locum workforce which asserts that when you have locums coming into a practice, things like test ordering behaviours change, and they order more tests, and they make more referrals. I don’t know that we’ve actually got any evidence of that. And of course, if there are differences, there’ll be driven by some kind of organisational constructs. So there are things that you can then do to try and address that.” GPs can read Prof Walshe’s interview in full on

To take part, please contact Jane Ferguson ( or Gemma Stringer (

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