Maximizing the Value of GP’s for Your Practice
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the healthcare industry in various ways, with Locum GP’s being no exception. Locum doctors have always played a vital role in maintaining the UK’s primary care system. The pandemic has brought about new challenges, such as increasing demand for medical services and workforce shortages.
Impact of the Pandemic on Locum GP’s
- Changes in demand: The pandemic has led to a surge in demand for healthcare services, especially in the primary care sector. As a result, practices have had to rely more on Locum GP’s to meet the increased demand.
- Increased risk: Locum GP’s face a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. This has led to increased stress and anxiety for locums.
- Changes in working practices: The pandemic has led to changes in working practices, such as the use of telemedicine and remote consultations. Locum GP’s have had to adapt to these changes quickly.
Getting the Best from Locum GPs
- Define clear expectations: Practices should define clear expectations for locum GPs. Including the scope of work, patient load, and any relevant policies and procedures.
- Communicate effectively: Communication is key when working with locum GPs. Practices should ensure that locums are aware of any changes to working practices, patient demographics, or other relevant factors.
- Induction and training: Induction and training are critical for locums to understand the practice’s ethos and become familiar with local referral pathways. It’s essential to provide locums with adequate training, including onboarding, orientation, and clinical support.
- Allocate the right work: Practices should allocate the right work to the right clinician. A diverse mix of clinicians, including partners, GPs, advanced nurse practitioners, ARRS staff, and locum GPs, can help practices triage complex patients. As well as, frequent attenders, and patients receiving palliative care towards permanent clinicians. Practices can allocate moderately complex problems or non-resolving conditions to locum GPs.
- Be reasonable with locums: To build a positive and inclusive working relationship with locums, it’s essential to be reasonable with them. Practices can make the job enjoyable, by inviting locums for coffee breaks. Developing a strong relationship with locums is beneficial to both parties and can help practices secure locum support when needed.
Using Key Medical Services for support
The pandemic has impacted the healthcare industry in various ways, including the way GP’s work. However, GPs remain a vital resource for primary care practices. By defining clear expectations, communicating effectively, providing induction and training, allocating the right work, and being reasonable with GPs, practices can get the best from their GPs. These strategies can help practices manage workforce shortages, meet increased demand for medical services, and provide the best possible care to patients.
For detailed guidelines on utilising GPs effectively, you can refer to the British Medical Association (BMA) handbook, which is available here.
Looking for qualified and reliable GPs to support your practice? Key Medical Service has a wide network of experienced healthcare professionals who are available for short and long-term assignments. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find the right GP for your practice and ensure continuity of care for your patients.