When a member of your practice is absent, it can be stressful and expensive. Especially if they are away for a prolonged period of time. In these situations, a significant strain is put on the rest of your practice or organisation, and this can sometimes reduce the level of care you are giving to your patients.
In some cases, not having enough staff on hand to support the day-to-day running of operations can cause other individuals to burn out and get sick, which leads to further illnesses and absences.
One of the best ways to avoid this cycle is to make sure you have appropriate locum insurance and sickness absence funding, so that your practice is able to cover the increased cost of working without your full team.
What is a Locum?
A locum, or locum tenens, is someone who temporarily fulfils the duties of another.The term is especially used for physicians but is sometimes used in other professions. This individual will step in when a hospital, practice or other medical organisation is short-staffed.
Many of these locums will be provided through private agencies, but they will have specific agreements in place with the NHS and will still be governed by the same regulatory bodies as other doctors who have full time positions.
Why Do I Need Locum Insurance?
Doctors and other individuals in the medical profession are highly skilled and therefore difficult to replace. As such, you will need to hire a qualified locum who can diligently take on the role of the absent employee. Locum insurance packages can differ depending on your provider, but the most common features are:
- Cover the cost of hiring a locum due to sickness absence
- Temporarily replace key staff members
- Providesick pay to key employees who are absent
The majority of staff absences are unavoidable. Therefore, having locum insurance is necessary for protecting your practice and your patients. By covering a range of different types of absences, you can continue to offer quality care no matter what happens.
What Does Locum Insurance Cover?
Locum insurance is designed to cover you against the increased cost of operating as a result of a staff absence. It is also meant to support the ongoing delivery of quality services to your patients while members of your team are not present.
Making a claim under your insurance policy can cover you for the costs of calling in a locum and providing sickness pay. It is designed to cover a range of different medical practices, including GPs, hospitals, vets, dentists and opticians, as well as pharmacists, osteopaths and chiropractors.
Locum insurance can cover a range of different absence types, from sickness to personal accident and bereavement. We are seeing increasingly more stress, anxiety and mental health related illnesses in the NHS and private sector today too, and policies may be able to cover these absences to lighten the load on your practice’s staff.
What If I Don’t Have Locum Insurance?
Most medical practicesare busy places where handling patientsschedules and general tasks on a normal day can be stressful. However, with the loss of important resources such as medical staff, it can be difficult and leave you unable to provide your service to your patients.
This can naturally result in a reduction of standards, or increase the risk of mistakes being made. Both will have a negative consequence on everyone involved. With a locum insurance policy designed to suit your needs, you can ensure that your practice can continue operating as quickly as possible in the event of staff absences.
Important Points to Consider
When choosing your policy, consider how your practice copes with staff absences. Some might be able to handle more strain than others, while many practices across the country will simply be unable to cope with the same workload and will need to resort to patient appointment rescheduling.
It is possible to tailor your policy to suit your needs, meaning you can take out cover from the first day of any absences, or choose a deferment type policy which means you will be covered only after a period of 1 or 2 weeks, for example. Depending on what you need, your policy, and how much it costs, can be tailored to suit your needs better.
Our expert advisers at Locum Insurance can help you choose the most suitable policy for your practice. Get in touch and we’ll help you find a policy that will let you keep offering the standard of services your patients deserve, no matter what happens.