I manage a training practice of 14,000 patients with six partners. Our patient list has grown about 23% in five years and we have a full multi-disciplinary team. And we use GP locums regularly. We have two currently working in the practice on a fairly long term basis. We work hard at fostering good relations with our locums, and we have a big list of locums we work with.
When the pandemic hit, how did that affect your locum bookings?
Initially, the workload in the practice crashed. The first two or three months, it really dived. We didn’t need locums at all, and probably there was also the fact that we didn’t want to bring them into the practice from a safety aspect as well.
But in August we started to think, ‘Okay, capacity is ramping up’ and GPs hadn’t taken holidays. Then we started to use some ad hoc locums again. By October or November we needed a bit of regular capacity because we lost our paramedic and we weren’t going to try and recruit a paramedic at that time. So we took on one six-session locum and one four- on a longer-term basis – probably through until the beginning of March.