Working in isolation is not an option

1st July 2015 by Richard Fieldhouse

Working in isolation is not an option

I’m just on my way back from giving a talk on ‘Enhanced Appraisal’ for GP locums. When I arrived in the afternoon, I was leapt on by some a few delegates who’d been there for the morning and who reported the general angst about what PCTs should be doing about locums and appraisal.

I gave a half-hour presentation using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as the model we need to be using when we think about planning resources that will actually support locums through revalidation. It’s all very well to look at the higher functions of quality and performance, but when the basic needs of education, work, security and ‘professional community’ are not being met then expecting locums to do audit, Multi Source Feedback etc are pointless.

The solution, as summarised by the conference’s chairman Dr Emyr Jones, was ‘if the problem is because GP locums have to work outside a managed environment, the solution is to create a managed environment for them to work within’. Fortunately examples do exist, and on these occasions I am able to give my own example of working in a Locum Support Team, where 45 locums work within separate local locum chambers. For those unable or unwilling to work in other similar locum teams, the opportunity to work as affiliates to a conventional practice also exist in the form of the affiliate Freelance GP Scheme.

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"I started working as a locum GP in January this year and NASGP have been invaluable in helping to co-ordinate my bookings and organise all the administrative aspects of sessional work which can be complex and time consuming. Their client support is outstanding and they have always resolved any queries promptly and personally. They care about the service they provide and I would not hesitate to recommend them to any sessional GPs who want to minimise time spent on administration and focus on providing patients with high quality care."

Dr Paul Riley, Locum GP

Dr Paul Riley, Locum GP

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