Practice Resilience | My Locum Manager | Agilio Software
My Locum Manager helps create flexible staff pools to support practices that need them. Learn more about TeamNet and My Locum Manager with Agilio Software.
My Locum Manager: Why Building Practice Resilience is Essential in the Current Healthcare Climate
Our industry is experiencing an ongoing staffing crisis, caused by challenges in the recruitment and retention of personnel, brought on by myriad factors including workload, pay, burnout, and safety concerns during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
We’re all aware that the current crisis is affecting almost all the Primary Care workforce in one way or another, regardless of their geographical region, organisational type, or job role. This is resulting in rota gaps which are not only problematic and costly to practices but are also drastically damaging to clinical continuity and care quality levels for patients.
With more than 110,000 NHS positions currently unfilled, the potential risks to patient safety are abundantly clear. The need to quickly plug these gaps is only exacerbated by the need to decisively tackle the circa 7 million patient treatment backlogs from the pandemic. So, what can we do in the short term to stop the problem from intensifying?
The Old Method
In the current circumstances, practices are struggling to justify the extra outlay of a locum agency, with their deceptively high costs, when it means spending additional capital that should, by rights, be passed on to their hard-working staff to, if nothing else, symbolically reflect their value. But practice resilience must be ensured to provide the best possible clinical care to patients. However, the solution may be easier than you think.
Flexible Staff Pooling
With flexible staff pooling, the ambition is to support groups of primary care networks, increase capacity in general practice and create a new offer for local GPs wanting to work flexibly. The benefit of this is twofold – practices are more likely to retain a motivated, skilled and happy workforce with a flexible arrangement. So valued is this benefit that it can even form part of the practices’ recruitment strategy.
However, just like you, we are aware this is not without its drawbacks. For instance, just for a GP to step through the door of surgery and begin to practice, they need a plethora of accompanying documentation and details. This has led to repeated admin on both sides of the equation at every new surgery the GP attends, and has even deterred GPs from taking on additional sessions.
My Locum Manager, part of Agilio Software’s suite of products, is a comprehensive software solution that helps communities of general practices build relationships with self-employed GPs who want to work flexibly. With an easily accessed, well-managed pool of staff, administration obstacles are significantly lessened, allowing doctors to take on more sessions, journeys between sessions to be reduced by improvements in planning, and time to be freed up for more available sessions with the creation of communities of local practices and practitioners.
On the other side of the same coin, organisations can rest easy in the knowledge that they can access a skilled network of local permanent healthcare professionals and self-employed locum doctors quickly and efficiently to cover all available sessions in their locality.
The most effective answer to the current staffing crisis is a more fluid and less fixed workforce, but this brings with it a deepening administrative burden that potentially distracts from the task at hand – providing improved levels of care to patients – how can we manage this better?
How to Establish a Functional Flexible Pool
The most efficient, all-encompassing resolution to the recruitment challenge is a digital solution from a reputable supplier that supports ICSs, PCNs and practices in the deployment of their newly found flexible clinical capacity. My Locum Manager, the only interoperable staffing platform for all job roles, provides a digital connection between ICSs, PCNs and the local workforce that facilitates lasting relationships rather than ad-hoc working, as promoted by locum agencies and marketplace style staff banks.
The MLM community model reduces the inconvenience and stress of accessing staff at short notice, while building better working relationships with staff in the process. GPs benefit from the flexibility of a locum role, yet with the improved job security and familiarity that comes with access to a community of local practices. Additionally, GPs and practices alike benefit from the reduced administrative burden when booking sessions through MLM’s advanced financial suite for end-to-end automated admin for self-employed work.
MLM’s unique interoperability with TeamNet further accelerates an integrated systems approach across ICSs, providing unparalleled HR & workforce, compliance and knowledge management systems all from one place. The link with TeamNet, which is used by nearly 70% of Primary Care, circumvents unnecessary bureaucracy, by providing a one-stop platform for all of the above, reducing the admin headache for Practice Managers and PCN management in particular. Staff banks can be created that not only include access to self-employed clinicians, but all staff connected to local TeamNet portals, including additional roles. With all of their HR checks, credentials, mandatory training and availability visible in one place, rostering becomes a quick and efficient process.
The creation of flexible staff pools is a net positive for the communities in which they operate, increasing the resilience of the PCN and vastly improving the clinical continuity offered to patients. Public confidence is increased, and the health and well-being of patients and staff alike are enhanced by the sustainability of services, general practice resilience and improved access to appointments in a timely manner.
A digital solution such as TeamNet + MLM add-on is the best option to increase productivity and drive efficiencies by reducing administration time. The tools to source, book and rota staff and manage your HR compliance checks in a smooth and time-efficient manner have seldom been so accessible. TeamNet + MLM accommodates all healthcare professionals, not just locum GPs. This means salaried GPs, locum GPs, ARRS workforce, nurses and administration staff can all be sourced and covered from the same platform – taking bigger steps towards addressing the staffing crisis.