Ever seen one of these? If you're a locum GP, you've probably seen dozens. They're little scraps of paper, written by a member of the practice staff in whose surgery you're working in today, with a generic shared login - slogin - so that you can log into the practice's clinical IT system.
A practice that uses several dozen different locums every year, some often in the practice at the same time together, all using these slogins, doesn't really have a clue which GP has seen which patient when a slogin has been used. Could have been any locum, any partner, any receptionist.
To totally compound this, factor in the fact that no UK GP locum has a prescribing number, and so therefore not only do they not receive any prescribing data relating to a prescribing number, they therefore have to prescribe on someone else's prescribing number.
So when we hear that Nice and the GMC all believe that somehow piling this extra pressure on GPs to produce antibiotic prescribing evidence that could be held against them in a disciplinary hearing, we see yet another spike in GPs joining the ranks of us sessional GPs.
All GP locums must always be given unique usernames and secret passwords in every different practice that we work in. And our own prescribing numbers would be a nice touch too.
Richard has worked as a freelance GP locum since 1995 in around 100 different practices, living and working in West Sussex and Hampshire. He founded NASGP in 1997, he is NASGP’s chairman and started the UK’s first locum chambers in 2004.
He enjoys walking, reads too many books on behavioural economics and has an unhealthy obsession with his sourdough starter.