In Autumn 2016, Kernow Health CIC launched an innovative new web-based tool designed to ‘match make’ GP practices and GP locums, saving practices time and allowing them to streamline the process of identifying and booking the locum staff they need. For locums, the new service offers a simple route to identify suitable contracts, which match their needs and experience.
The new online service is a cornerstone of the Peninsula Medical Chambers set up by Kernow Health CIC. This is a co-operative of locum GPs in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly which provides a comprehensive range of support services for the profession.
The IT system used is Locum Wizard which was designed and developed by Bodmin based Microtest, one of the UK’s leading providers of clinical software for GPs.
Both practices and locum GPs benefit from a range of in-built features, notably the fact that all relevant records and background details for both the practices and the locum are just a click away – saving valuable research and administrative time. The system also provides other features such as automated invoicing, automated pension forms and feedback rating on both locums and surgeries, as well as a messaging facility across the community.
“Ultimately, this will save practices time and money, as well as ensure the best possible patient care.”
Dr Chris Ireland, from Kernow Health CIC says: “This represents a step change in the efficiency with which GP practices can find the quality locum staff they need. Ultimately, this will save practices time and money, as well as ensure the best possible patient care.
“Microtest’s Locum Wizard is a slick, clear and functional tool, which is providing us with the backbone we need in order to bring about the cultural change we want to make happen. It will create efficiencies and help us build a sustainable, quality locum community.”
Dr Ireland continues: “The NHS is facing significant challenges and the number of GPs who prefer to work as locums is growing. For some, this is because they value the flexibility and freedom to choose their own work. We are seeing especial interest from working mothers. For busy parents, juggling a family and career, locum work can be a great alternative to regular employment. Our service makes it easier for them to make the most of being a locum, as we take away a lot of the admin hassle and help them find the most suitable contracts.
“Our vision is that Locum Wizard will help us create a new culture in which working as a locum is a viable and high quality career path. As part of this culture change, we are passionate about driving high quality standards amongst the locum community. The system allows instant checking of expiry dates on all qualifications and insurances and we also provide help with Continuous Professional Development. In addition, we want to promote peer group discussions so that the community can share experiences and ideas.
“We are at the early stages of a transformation in the way the recruitment of locum staff takes place in Cornwall. There is nothing quite the same available anywhere else in the UK, so we are really proud to be helping Cornwall set a new gold standard in this area.”
To find out more or register to use Locum Wizard, either as a GP practice or a locum GP, visit www.peninsulamedicalchambers.co.uk.