The Importance of GP Locums in Healthcare
It’s no secret that under-staffing within healthcare is an issue in the UK. For general practitioners and other doctors this is a particularly pressing issue. Surgery management can be difficult with so many different patients’ needs to balance while maintaining an appropriate number of staff to deal with these. It’s not uncommon for a doctors’ surgery to be left short-staffed on occasion, or even on a regular basis, due to staff taking holidays, maternity leave, unfilled vacancies and other circumstances.
This means locum GP jobs are generally widely available in the UK, with a shortage of highly skilled and qualified professionals to take on these roles. Although it may be not be obvious at first, part of this comes down to fundamental differences between being a GP in one practice and being a locum GP who will need to move around as and when different roles need to be filled. This affects the overall approach any locum will have to bring to their work, and means people looking for this kind of work may need to adjust significantly if they’re used to dealing with the same patients on a regular basis.
Instead, locum GP jobs involve working with upwards of 1,500 patients in any given year. This means they may not be able to deal with patients closely over a period of time and build up a personal relationship, but the benefit is that locums build up a greater breadth of experience more quickly. Many of the surgeries that need to urgently fill positions using temporary staff tend to be struggling overall, and often it can be hugely beneficial having new talent working with existing staff and patients to offer different insights.
Locums tend to earn a similar amount to salaried GP’s over the course of their work, as costs for the surgeries or practices hiring them tend to be the same either way in the long run. This can mean that for no extra investment, a much greater number of staff are given an opportunity to add value and positively impact the quality of care provided. Constant change can be seen as a negative aspect, but if permanent staff are simply not available then locums are a hugely valuable solution.