Bookings are up again month on month and year on year on NASGP’s locum booking system.
Practices made double the number of bookings in October as they did in February, and last month saw twice the number of bookings as last October.
NASGP reported on the 39% spike in September, month on month, and last month saw a further 4% on September’s numbers. If seasonal trends persist during lockdown, bookings look set to increase again in November.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, chair of NASGP, wrote: “We are all relieved to see a consistent and clear indication that GP locums are finding it easier to get work, but the fact that our bookings have doubled compared to last year also suggests that practices are really starting to feel the strain of more patient demand – and it’s not even winter yet.
“Some of this significant increase will be down to practices and GP locums trusting LocumDeck’s balanced, equitable and robust way of managing locum work, without agencies slowing them down or incurring significant costs. The beginning of lockdown saw sessions being cancelled across the board, leaving many of us without proper T&Cs high and dry, and morale around GP locum work at an all time low.
“Going into winter, as fatigue in general practice sets in and the backlog of care needs grows, there is every sign that flexible GPs will be in demand. We urgently need to prepare to match GP locums who are in need of work with practices who will need help to keep working safely this winter.”