Are locums the perfect fit for your practice?

Locums are increasingly becoming a more essential element in practice management – in niche areas and across the broader profession. A rise in demand, as well as staff shortages and cuts in budget allocations for doctor jobs have made it even more challenging to continue to deliver seamless services and locums are a simple and effective way to fill skills gaps. There are many reasons why a locum might be a good fit for your practice:

A cost effective solution

Yes, locums can be expensive – there has been plenty of media focus on the hourly rates for locums doing medical jobs and how this can be costly for those paying them. However, when properly implemented, there’s no reason why hiring a locum should be any more expensive than long term staff, particularly when you take into account that there is no need to cover costs such as training, benefits, holiday, sick pay or National Insurance.

Supporting a team

The way that locum staffing works to offer solutions to staff shortages can provide a degree of support for teams that are stretched thin by budget cuts and increasing demand. Using locums means that roles are covered, teams continue to function smoothly and staff don’t feel as if they are being abandoned or left to cope without support. Locums also offer a way to cope with illness, popular holiday periods and to allow for a more flexible approach to requests for time off, without having to offer a permanent employment contract.

Introducing expertise

Most locums are experienced, both in terms of settling quickly into a new environment so as to start adding value straight away, and the range of skills that they are able to offer. Working with a reputable locum agency ensures a consistently high level of locum expertise, as well as professionals who are able to bring fresh perspectives and perhaps even a new set of skills that might benefit the practice as a whole.

Handpicked skills

If there is an urgent demand for a professional with very specific skills then the process of interviewing and recruiting is often far too slow. Locums have specific, proven skills and experience and the ability to hand pick the right locum for the job means that a skills gap can be plugged with exactly the right person, rather than compromising or leaving a hole in the team. They also bring fresh levels of enthusiasm, which can invigorate a practice. 

The above article was provided by specialist healthcare staffing provider Locum Vision. The recruitment agency has established itself as the number one off-framework supplier of doctors across the UK and can help you find the right locum staff for your practice.  

If you would like guidance on employing locum staff, First Practice Management’s Policies and Procedures Library contains draft agreements, template timesheets and a range of other documents to help you.

 

© First Practice Management, 2015. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

 


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