Locum Doctors – How Important Are They?
For years many permanent NHS hospital employees considered locum doctors an expensive and unnecessary expense to the NHS. In more recent times, the attitude towards locums has changed. The perception of those doctors choosing to follow the locum route was often quite negative, as they were paid a higher hourly rate and have the choice of when and where they wished to work. Today the opinion couldn’t be more different. The benefits mentioned are often true, but with this comes an uncertainty of when you’ll next be working, a lack of professional progression and also having to work in places miles away from your home and family.
On a typical day as many as 3,500 locum doctors are working shifts across England & Wales hospitals and it is widely thought that these locums are the glue that binds the NHS together. There are very few, if any, hospital trusts that don’t rely on locums as part of their workforce, which shows just how important they have become.
Why the change of attitude and increase in demand for locum doctors?
With an ever-expanding UK population, the increased demand for NHS services has created a number of shortage areas such as A&E and geriatric medicine where there simply aren’t enough permanent doctors available. Combine that with a rise in conditions such as diabetes, cancer and age-related illnesses – it’s no surprise that the demand for services often outstrips the number of workers available.
Locum doctors are invaluable in ensuring the smooth running of NHS and helping to provide continuity of care for patients. Not only this, but in high-pressured environments such as emergency departments, locums are able to offer reprieve to permanent doctors who have been working long shifts by offering a new burst of energy and a fresh set of eyes.
Some specialist doctors are particularly rare and hard to find, which is another area where locum doctors help fill the shortage while departments look for full-time members of staff to fill the position.
The European Working Time Directive is also another contributor to the importance of locum doctors, since a larger workforce than before is needed to treat the same number of patients due to 48 hour working week restrictions.
Furthermore, even with the best workforce planning, it is very difficult to account for last minute absence – yet another area where locums are needed in order to prevent disruption to the health service.
Corrigans Door have been successfully supplying locum doctors to the Private Sector and the NHS for almost 20 years. During this time we have built solid relationships across the London private sector locum market, allowing us to offer our valued bank of doctors locum work that most other agencies do not receive. For more information on the roles we can offer you, please call us on 020 8994 6862 or drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to hearing from you soon.
The Corrigan’s Door Team
Posted on Tuesday Nov 10