When is a good time to consider the role of a locum in practice?
Almost every practice principal working in a busy practice has said to themselves at some point, 'I could really do with an extra pair of hands'. The pressure of meeting the needs of patients combined with keeping an eye on business performance and the wellbeing of the dental team is never easy, especially for NHS providers who are also working to meet their annual UDAs targets.
The final quarter of the UDA year can be particularly stressful for principals and their team who are doing everything they can to hit targets. For example, if a practice is underperforming they may be looking to extend weekday surgery hours or opening on Saturday mornings, but ensuring every surgery is running at full capacity is something an existing team can rarely do on their own. This is when recruiting a locum can be really useful and is something all practices should consider.
At MediCruit, we understand that there’s always a high demand within the profession for skilled, high-calibre locums, no matter what the time of year. Locums can help to fill the gaps as and when needed, either in a full-time role or on short-term contracts. Finding a locum, especially at short notice, is not always easy and that is why it makes sense to turn to a recruitment agency like MediCruit, that specialises solely in dentistry, with a custom-built, in-house database of candidates and recruiters. Our team of experienced consultants, each with specific industry knowledge and backed by cutting-edge systems and technology, can help you find the right professional to make up any UDA shortfalls.
But what if I don't need a locum right now?
Even if targets are being met and there’s no need for a locum dentist or support staff at the present time, it’s always advisable for practices to register with a specialist dental recruitment agency - just in case. Despite the best planning, when key members of staff take holidays, or temporary or unexpected leave for maternity, medical or family reasons, the services of a locum can prove invaluable. Having an agent instructed, ready to immediately provide the back-up staff they need to ensure normal service can be resumed at all times.
Enlisting the help of an experienced consultant who understands the nuances of dental recruitment makes the job of finding locums and support staff much easier. It also saves time and frustration whilst enabling you to maximise the overall clinical and operational success of your practice.
Sam Beadle is the Recruitment Manager at MediCruit, a Henry Schein company. If you have a question that you’d like any of the MediCruit team to answer or a topic you’d like to see discussed in this column, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01332 609318.