Here’s a really useful article I saw on the GP online magazine,
aimed more at GPs and practice managers.
I find Judith Harvey often writes candidly and informatively
See what you think………..
Locums – How to get the best from locums
By Dr Judith Harvey, 18 January 2012
Dr Judith Harvey says the practice may be the real culprit when a GP locum it hires underperforms.
GP locums are not going to disappear. If they did, general practice would grind to a halt.
But grumbling about them is almost a sport. It could prove more useful to look at why locums do not always meet the practice’s expectations.
If your locum cannot find a physiotherapy referral form, they have to spend precious time looking for it. If the dictation machine is broken, they cannot dictate letters. If the batteries in the fetal heart monitor are flat, the baby’s wellbeing cannot be checked. If the emergency equipment is incomplete, lives cannot be saved.
It is as simple as that. Locums cannot give of their best with their hands tied behind their back.
So do give some thought to what they have to cope with at your practice before rushing to criticise. This is not to say that locums are never at fault: like the GPs employing them, they are human too.
Consulting in a pig sty
Locums learn to be flexible. They may have to consult in someone else’s pig sty of a consulting room with inadequate patient notes, in a practice with its own way of doing things.
They guard against lack of functioning equipment by bringing their own. But locums are only as good as the environment in which they work.
Enforced underperformance – not giving of your best for reasons outside your control – is a constant threat.
Yet many practices make little effort to meet their legal obligations and to protect their patients, their reputation and their investment, by providing locums with adequate working conditions.
Here is some practical advice that will enable locums working in your organisation to manage your patients as safely and effectively as they can.
The better locums’ working conditions are, the better the job they can do. Everyone pays the price of enforced underperformance and everyone has an obligation to reduce the risks it presents to doctors, the profession and, most of all, to patients.
PRACTICAL TIPS FOR PRACTICES
Tips for GP partners
Tips for Practice Managers
Tips for others
Dr Harvey is a locum GP in central London
Very useful advice. What do you think? Please do leave you comments and views – or start a discussion…