Instant messaging platforms like Facebook’s WhatsApp are fun and easy to use, but should GP locums be using them to book work? Here we argue that what you gain in convenience, you more than loose in the ability to control significant aspects of your freelance GP practise.
GP locums have been using email listservers for over a decade to allow practices to inform them of available work. Recently however, advertising platforms like Facebook’s WhatsApp have become popular, allowing practices to quickly publicise available sessions for ‘free’ to sometimes hundreds of GP locums at a time. At first glance, this may seem like an attractive, easy and effective way for locums to get work, but there are significant problems with this approach that GP locums should be aware of before adopting such a system that so obviously plays a significant role in their livelihoods and their longer term career.
On first inspection, these locum listservers could be seen to save practices time and money when advertising unfilled sessions to locums, so that many local locums receive a message (or email in the case of list servers) of those available sessions. As well as sometimes raising some funds for those who own the email listservers, or creating advertising revenue for shareholders of the platforms, it also allows new locums to the area to compete directly with more established locums.