At the mention of the word ‘locum’, there’s perhaps a tendency for people outside the healthcare industry to think of doctors – the kind of healthcare professionals who are most commonly featured in entertainment media. Inside healthcare, however, the picture of locum activity looks a lot broader, and the in-demand locum pharmacist sits firmly in the foreground of general awareness.
In the UK, that’s in large part thanks to agencies like Team Locum, who have made locum pharmacists so simple and cost-effective to book, that locums have been firmly integrated into the regular annual timetable by many businesses.
The roles of dentists, optometrists and a range of other healthcare specialists are also well known for being covered by locums, but carers are perhaps not so widely associated with the locum world.
That may be about to change.
Since 2015, Team Locum – best known in the UK for its industry-leading supply of locum pharmacists and optometrists to the great and good of high street healthcare – has been steadily building a Nursing & Care division. The emphasis, over this period, has been on the development of a system which not only serves the care sector well, but which raises the game. Increases expectations, and provides the ultimate standard of service. The result? The best work, for the best locums.
WHY DID TEAM LOCUM CREATE ITS NURSING & CARE DIVISION?
Linda Yearsley – one of the healthcare professionals who set up Team Locum back in spring 2001 (and still an owner of the business today), worked at the sharp end of nursing for two decades. She remains a registered nurse, and to say that she’s passionate about the profession would be a gross understatement. Linda excelled in many sub-disciplines of nursing, before moving into the business and management side of healthcare.
It was Linda who, after identifying ways in which care cover could not only improve, but also be delivered in more cost-effective ways, and provide better rewards for locums, decided to add a Nursing & Care division to her already bustling agency.
When setting up the Nursing & Care division, Linda and Team Locum were fortunate to secure the skills and long-time care work experience of Joy Sanford. Joy has overseen the division with an obsessive focus on quality, both for clients and for locums. In every other division of Team Locum, offering the very best healthcare staff to clients, and the very best range of work options to locums, has resulted in consistent growth. But how is that ethos applied to the Nursing & Care division? And what is Team Locum’s better system for the provision of care and nursing cover?
The first step was to access the right opportunities. As a CQC-registered agency, Team Locum assures clients of high standards. That helps build client confidence, and client confidence means more bookings – more choice for locums. But in addition, through its existing work on established NHS frameworks, Team Locum has received requests for more diverse types of cover. The agency has been able to offer care locums better engagements. But how does it ensure that those locums are ready to operate to the highest standards?
Right at the center of Team Locum’s Nursing & Care operation is a system of highly qualified people custom-training carers to meet specific criteria. Naturally, all carers provide verified references and are DBS checked, and the agency’s registration process strictly follows the Conduct of Employment Agencies and Employment Businesses Regulations 2003. But both clients and locums can expect a lot more than simple compliance. There’s personal benefit for all…
or visit the TEAM LOCUM HOMEPAGE for more info.
From the outset, Team Locum felt that a rigid training template would not befit the kind of service the agency is renowned for providing. Care is a type of work that has many facets. So the training Team Locum has provided to carers is targeted towards the situation into which each staff member will be heading. By making the best selected, best referenced, and best trained staff a service standard, Team Locum is setting a benchmark in an area of locum cover which is expected to become more prominent in the future. That’s great for clients, but it’s also great for locums, because happy clients make a lot more bookings.
Taken further, tailored training from a registered nurse can enable care to be provided in a domestic home, as opposed to a hospital. The implications of that are huge. It saves clients an enormous amount of money, whilst providing properly-trained locum carers with excellent opportunities.
NURSING AND CARE LOCUMS CAN EXPECT THE BEST
Team Locum has a core ethos of delivering quality to clients. Supplying professional people to do a professional job. It’s a policy that’s already made Team Locum the number one UK agency in other healthcare disciplines.
We know that the best performing locums are the happiest locums. That’s why we introduced dedicated and closely-monitored internal processes for assisting locums whose payments have been delayed. Even though most payments are made directly from the client to the locum, and are not the responsibility of the agency, the agency invests many hours of staff time in getting payment issues resolved. The agency firmly believes that this is a key factor in retaining the services of the best locums.
Equally, the agency cares about issues such as payment rates, travel expenses and good working conditions. And as Team Locum’s Nursing & Care division is scaled up, the insistence on fair rewards for good locums will become even stronger. Whilst this may sound like a one-sided consideration, it’s absolutely not. True, it’s in the locums’ interests. One of Team Locum’s owners is a locum – that’s only to be expected. But all good businesses will ensure that their staff are as well-paid as is possible, whilst making the savings for clients through well-considered service implementation.
Another important element for locum carers is travel distance. Team Locum has specifically limited its cover to the West Midlands region over what’s essentially been a trial period for Nursing & Care. Locums have thus not been asked to embark on long commutes, and at least for the foreseeable future, there are no plans to move Nursing & Care out into other regions. Again, it’s about delivering the cover to the places where it’s needed, with minimum expense and inconvenience.
NEED TO KNOW MORE?…
With a substantial total of agency staff, Team Locum already has a strong infrastructure for developing its divisions. However, the upsizing of Nursing & Care will be a major operation, to which significant additional resources are to be allocated.
So, if you’re in or around the West Midlands, and you’re interested in becoming or booking a Nursing & Care locum, give Team Locum a call on 0121 451 2707. Flexibility is our byword – just let us know what you’re looking for.
or visit the TEAM LOCUM HOMEPAGE for more info.