GP locum chambers were the brainchild of NASGP, first conceived in 2002 when a group of 30 NASGP sessional GP group leads from across the UK met at the RCGP head office in London one rainy Saturday, and came up with the model whereby GP locums could work as part of a team.
Locum chambers are small, independent groups of local self-employed locum GPs all working together through a shared management structure to support NHS GP practices to maintain, and in some cases improve, local GP services.
Broadly speaking, locum chambers:
- Provide educational programmes for local GPs (not just their members!), crowdsource local clinical information and spread best practice.
- Employ experienced managers or clerks to take care of all non-clinical aspects of working as a locum GP (e.g. booking, confirming, rates negotiations, SEAs, complaints, cancellations, certificates, usernames/passwords etc), enabling the GPs to focus on providing clinical services.
- Host regular member-only clinical governance meetings to discuss SEAs, complaints, best practice, underperforming practices, clinical cases, rates, strategy etc. And also regular social events for their members.
- Support all aspects of appraisal relating to their members.
- Create an environment that allows their GPs to have a flourishing portfolio career, including also working in salaried posts and as an intermediary position between GP partnerships.
NHS England has realised the full potential of the model in terms of its ability to help support its commissioning agenda, and has released a paper to empower clinical commissioning groups to encourage or host locum GP chambers in their areas.