Meet the locum GP specialist

19th June 2019 by Richard Fieldhouse

Meet the locum GP specialist

For years, we’ve been calling for recognition that locuming involves performing in a specialised environment requiring at least a mention in formal GP training. We brought that together in a one-day GP locum masterclass with the BMJ in October 2015.

Ask any locum GP who’s worked in a few different surgeries over a period of a few weeks, and they’ll all have a similar story to tell. On top of the clinical complexity and the vast casemix that is the staple of general practice, they will also have had to negotiate finding out the ways things work in each practice, the local services that are available (and which ones aren’t), getting to know the personalities, strengths and weaknesses of staff and colleagues, and developing trust and rapport with all the new patients they’ve been caring for.

Soft information

Some practices could have booked a locum because they’re off on a shared learning day to really get to grips with some great quality improvement, whereas other struggling practices may have made a booking in desperation after one of their colleagues has gone off with stress, or simply resigned, or even been suspended with a cloud over their head. Whatever the reason, how do we as locum GPs make sense of all this “soft information” to make sure we’re practising safely and effectively?

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"I started using LocumDeck as one of our locums used it. It was easy to see her availability and when bookings are made I get confirmation of the booking and can view them on the calendar too. When invoices are sent, I can see it on the site, and digitally sign the pension form (this is one of the best bits!). It would be good if all locums used it, as then it would be so much easier for me to track my bookings and check their availability without emailing or texting them, waiting for a reply and then emailing back to confirm. It’s a great place for their documents to sit also. I can access it from home or my mobile which is useful as when I am not in surgery is when I usually need a locum!"

Debbie, Practice Manager in St Ives

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