Making the booking

So easily taken for granted, the actual booking process itself is a fundamental part of engaging a locum.

Explain why they're needed

It's really important to let locums know the reason why you're asking for cover as it can make a big difference as to how they prepare themselves to work at your practice.

  • Sun and sand
    • A practice that books ahead so that the practice has good cover whilst a GP is getting some well-earned rest is a practice that is able to invest in the welfare of its staff. Locums will expect happy staff and well managed patients but also patients that are used to a high level of care.
  • Study leave
    • Again, a practice that invests in its staff and will no doubt also have a high expectation from all its staff to be up-to-date with both local and national best practice.
  • Sickness
    • Covering for this GP in this practice may mean your locum GP's support will be even more appreciated; the absent colleague may have been soldiering on on less than full cylinders, and staff as well as patients may be concerned.
  • Shortage
    • Your locum may be looking for a permanent position, so putting them in-the-know will mean they can make some real effort to get to know you, but also help them understand that some extra support is needed, and patient satisfaction may not be as high as your practice would normally hope.
  • Suspended
    • Everyone understands that complaints and actions against all doctors are on the rise so please don't not mention a suspension. The locum will appreciate being informed as it offers them the chance to be extra vigilant for shortfalls in care and they will want to support you and your patients.

Confirm in writing

Using the NASGP Terms and Conditions template is of great way of agreeing and confirming terms.