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  • Writer's pictureDavid Harper

Locum work & COVID-19: Assessing & Harnessing the situation

We know you’re working during an exceptionally difficult time. What doesn’t make it easier is not knowing how long we can expect this to last. We thought that whilst we have so much uncertainty, now might be a good time to offer our insight and experience of the locum scene right now. We’d like to offer you what we know, what we hope to expect and what you can do right now about harnessing some of this lockdown time for your benefit.

Assessing the situation – What do we know about locum work at the moment?

It is quieter than normal. This will seem particularly alarming due to the time of year. We’re used to seeing the steady rise to our peak demand now due to summer holiday and annual leave requests but this hasn’t happened this year. We know you will be concerned about this and we don’t want to disregard that. What we do want to offer you is the knowledge that the reason for this lessening of demand is clear:

  1. Employed staff aren’t taking holidays or annual leave with international travel and most public attractions no longer being options.

  2. Employed staff looking to leave positions for new jobs, long term travel, new industries etc are halting their plans.

  3. MORE employed positions are being taken up as they offer security.

All of the above are impacting the number of vacancies we generally receive during this time of year.

However. They are not permanent situations. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted we WILL see employees taking holidays and annual leave. We WILL see employed staff resume their plans in pursuing new jobs or moving industries. And, we WILL see the return of vacancies for branches seeking new managers. Whilst we can’t offer a time frame on when we can expect normal business to resume, we can offer assurance that it WILL resume.

Harnessing the situation – What can I do right now?

We are all faced with enforced spare time and not always much to do with it. So, how about harnessing this situation and making it work for you? As a locum pharmacist, there are actions you can be taking to try and counteract some of the impact the COVID-19 situation has had on your business. We would suggest some of the following positive actions:

Tackling service documentation, particularly Declarations of Competence (DoCs)

  1. Services are EVER popular. We know that lots of services in store have ceased due to social distancing measures but like other measures, this is temporary. When normal business resumes, we can expect to see all service delivery resume. We also expect that customers will be very keen to book locums who can deliver services to make up for the time lost during lockdown. You can read more about DoCs here in our dedicated blog and here on the CPPE website. Also, now that CPCS is an advanced service, please make sure we have a copy of your CPCS self-assessment form and that you have the necessary permissions on your Smartcard. You can read more about CPCS here.

Updating your availability with Pharmaseekers

  1. While we do have less shifts readily available on a short term basis, we do still have some customers booking in advance. Keeping your diary accurately updated will allow us to offer you as much work as possible.

Company registrations

  1. The secure a wide variety of work then you need to be able to work for as many different companies as possible. During quieter periods, including this one, large multiples are the main source of vacancies. It might be beneficial for you to make sure you are registered with these companies if you are not already. You can contact us for information on how to do this.

All of the above actions will also be of benefit when vacancy requests return to their normal figure. Ample service accreditations, a good range of availability and registrations with large multiples will mean we can offer you the broadest range of work available in your area.

In the meantime, please get in touch with any queries or concerns. We’re keen to offer as much support as we can.

Thank you

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