Preparing for a challenging winter

During my career as a Healthcare Recruitment Consultant, the phrase ‘Winter Pressures’ has always signified a busy and stressful period within the industry. With departments desperately waiting for their winter pressures budget to be signed off in time for the increase of patients, we see the demand for Locum Doctors, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists rocket sky high.

During this hectic period, Team Managers and departments can struggle to cope with it being a rush against time to secure the best Locums for their department’s needs.

Fast forward to the winter of 2020/2021

Despite battling a pandemic, the healthcare industry will still have the normal pressures of winter to contend with. The Government plans to roll out the biggest flu program in history this winter, despite healthcare professionals on the frontline deal potentially facing the possible winter COVID-19 spike (predictions estimate 120,000 lives being claimed). Current healthcare guidelines will continue to be in place such as no GP practice waiting rooms open, strict social distancing measures in place along with constantly updated regulations introduced regularly.

Speaking with a number of Practice Managers and GPs during this strange and unknown period, I’ve seen practices be flexible and quickly change the way they do things in order to keep their patients and staff safe while playing their part in tackling the virus. 

In my opinion and with everything we now know, I wonder should GP surgeries and healthcare departments be looking to book and secure their extra Locum cover now before it’s too late or run the risk of not being able to get the cover they require?

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