Locum use in England has remained stable in recent years

BJGP Interviews

11-01-2022 • 12 mins

In this episode we talk to Dr Christos Grigoroglou and Professor Kieran Walshe. Christos is a Research Fellow in Health Services Research, Manchester Centre for Health Economics and Kieran is a Professor of Health Policy and Management both at the University of Manchester. Paper: The scale and scope of locum doctor use in general practice in England: Analysis of routinely collected workforce data in 2017-2020 https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGP.2021.0311 (https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGP.2021.0311) Prior research on the extent of GP locum use in general practice and the composition of the GP locum workforce is sparse, and the availability of new data from general practice allows for a real opportunity to generate new knowledge and to add to the understanding of the current GP workforce composition. Results of the study suggest that GP locum use has remained stable over time and our comparisons of GP locums with other types of GPs show that locums are mostly younger male doctors of whom a large proportion have qualified elsewhere than the UK and who work in underperforming practices. Substantial regional variation in GP locum use across England indicate differences in workforce planning, recruitment and retention. This work provides a useful approach to measure the extent of locum use in primary care and can aid workforce planning by identifying areas of increased recruitment, areas with high GP turnover and also the drivers behind variation in locum use in primary care in England.