The Hurley group is a heavy user of Locums in London, we went to talk to their senior manager, Stella to find out what she looks for when taking locums on.

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What do you look for when hiring locums?

We take locums on with a view to taking them on permanently as salaried GPs. We therefore look for those who are going to fit into our team long term.Because of this attitude, we look for the ‘personality’ behind the locum when we get their CVs. Things like special interests, hobbies and experience with long term disease management or managing a practice show us that they are not just an ordinary GP.

If a GP has had a lot of recent experience within a practice and has made a change to the way the practice is run, that is a real plus. Evidence that they can understand QOF also makes them stand out from the rest.

” Things like special interests, hobbies and experience with long term disease management or managing a practice show us that they are not just an ordinary GP. ”

What makes you want to re-hire a locum?

It is really important to us that if we get a good quality doctor locumming for us, we know about it so that we can keep hiring them. We collect patient feedback by asking patients’ opinions on the doctor. Often we have patients praising the doctor they just saw, we keep this information so that that locum gets priority when we next have a vacancy.

”Often we have patients praising the doctor they just saw, we keep this information so that that locum gets priority when we next have a vacancy.”

It is also very important to us what the practice staff think of the doctor. We like doctors who  make an effort to become part of the team and get on with the reception and administrative staff. We listen very carefully to what the practice staff have to say and so it is worth doctor taking the time to keep them happy!

”We like doctors who make an effort to become part of the team”

If a doctor gives us positive feedback on our practices then that is also something that indicates they would make a good addition to the team. If the locum tells us they enjoyed their time and would like to work back there, we will get the feeling that they will be enthusiastic when they go back, which we like.

”If the locum tells us they enjoyed their time and would like to work back there, we will get the feeling that they will be enthusiastic when they go back, which we like.”

Another really important thing is consultation records. We do audits of our doctors notetaking and if the doctor has made good full notes on the consultation then we are more likely to rehire them. Someone has to inherit these notes and it is important that they give a full picture of what was wrong with the patient.

Agency locum vs. a locum direct?

Well price is one factor, agency locums are just much more expensive so we try to avoid using them.

Another reason why we might prefer to use a doctor that comes to us direct is that our relationship is directly and solely with the doctor and not with the agency. We can therefore feed back to them much more easily and get their feedback on how the work was for them too. We start to develop a relationship with them, which you don’t typically get the opportunity to do with agency locums.

”Another reason why we might prefer to use a doctor that comes to us direct is that our relationship is directly and solely with the doctor and not with the agency.”

The Hurley Group is an NHS organisation that runs 15 GP practices and GP walk in centres across London. We have been providing patient-centred care since 1969, working within some of the UK’s most deprived communities.

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Our easy-to-use tools empower healthcare organisations to fill their shifts and professionals to fill their diaries, without the need for agencies. And they dramatically reduce time spent on rostering admin, compliance, and invoice chasing.

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