In recognition of the role practice managers play in the use of GP locums, the National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP) is opening up membership to the profession.
One in four GPs work as locums, and provide an estimated 80 million NHS consultations in the UK every year. They often work in unfamiliar practices, unaware of performance issues, and blind to prescribing policies and a multitude of different practice systems and procedures.
Dr Richard Fieldhouse, NASGP chairman, said: "This is where the support of well-motivated and informed practice managers can make such a big difference to the locum GP, enabling them to perform to the absolute best of their ability, rather than risk floundering in confusion and misinformation. And all GPs working to the best of their ability gives each practice its best chance of providing outstanding care to its patients."
Practice manager membership is currently free for the first six months, and includes ongoing ownership of their own comprehensive Standardised Practice Induction Pack (Spip), enabling practices to centralise and crowdsource practice-specific information for any GP or staff member, ensuring all GPs have access to essential practice information.
Dr Sara Chambers, NASGP's Appraisal and Quality lead, said: "Our research shows that locum GPs spend, on average, 20 mins every session wasting their precious time, and having to waste other GPs precious time, to locate very simple, basic information about that practice in order to facilitate a certain aspect of a patient's management. This 'enforced ignorance' reduces practice efficiency and effectiveness and risks patient safety, which is precisely why we developed the Spip practice pack to address all these issues."
The NASGP's new practice manager area can be viewed at www.nasgp.org.uk/practices.