A recent paper printed in the Royal College of General Practice 10th Jan 2022 wanted to form a picture of locum GP activity across the country and also what a typical locum looks like?

There are currently 35,991 GPs in UK – How many are locums? It’s difficult to be sure, however, the GMC estimate 17 000 to 18 000 locum GPs NHS Digital data report showed there were only 5040 employed locum GPs in December 2017.

It is difficult to pin the number down due to the way the data is collected also some doctors work regular jobs and locum on the side.

The GP workforce data is dependent on the voluntary reported use of locums by surgeries and so has to be taken with a pinch of salt, however can help give a flavour of the locum landscape.

Locum profile

  • Male locum 54.5%, female locum 46.5%
  • Female locums had a median age of 41 years
  • Male locums had a median age of 44
  • Qualified in the UK (63.8%)


  • Low CQC surgeries had twice the incidence ratio of using locums compared to outstanding practices!
  • For practices in rural locations, locum FTE was 25% higher than for practices located in urban areas.
  • Patient satisfaction ratings did not vary with rates of locum use!

Locum heatmap showing areas of greatest use (darker) according to region. Click on the image to zoom. Credit to bjgp.org

What is the GP staffing crisis doing to the locum market?

There has been a shortage of 2500 full-time equivalent GPs prior to the crisis, and it seems to be rising to an estimated 7000 unfilled roles by 2023 (BJGP 2021)

The deficit is fuelling demand for locum GPs but is also putting pressure on our working day. If you have been getting the feeling that things are just getting busier, you are not wrong!

According to NHS digital, the average GP surgery sees 2222 more patients annually than in 2015. So, in summary, the workload is going up and the number of GPs is going down!

NHS Digital

GPs are responsible for 90% of patient consultations in the NHS yet allocated less than 10% of NHS budgets.

There was an estimated 7.1 million (26% increase) in the number of appointments in Nov 2021 compared to pre-covid Nov 2019 (only 4.1 M of these were vaccination appointments).

Have you noticed the amount of admin is increasing too?

“There were 319.3 million repeat prescriptions in General practice in the year between November 2020 and October 2021, with October 2021 seeing 1.09 million more repeat prescriptions than October 2020.

That’s a yearly average of 48,599, or around 935 per week, per practice”. BMA Jan 2022

GPs with a side hustle

Covid has taught us one thing and that is not to put all your eggs in one basket, we look at GPs who have a side hustle.

We interviewed Dr Nkolika Anyabolu who has a very artistic side hustle.

Dr Nkolika Anyabolu
GP educator,
Wessex Deanery culture course Facilitator,
Primary care fellow at Health education England

Hey if you are burning out you are not alone!

Avoiding Burnout

We must inject more fun and happiness into our week!

We should have dedicated booked time into our schedule in which we just do things that are fun and relaxing!

I asked an academic last week, what do you do that is really fun? He replied he really loves learning new code for crunching statistical analysis for his research papers. That sounds like my idea of torture but it was his jam.

I recently learnt to swim and after a few weeks of doing it, I actually find it relaxing and try to go at least once a week.

What is your chill?

New medical series that is trending amongst medics

Red Flags!

Whilst Fit testing is a great screening tool, a recent paper ” Faecal immunochemical tests for patients with ‘high risk’ bowel symptoms, a large prospective cohort study 2022.
This found that if we completely relied on this test then we would miss an estimated 1 in 8 cases of bowel cancer!

TAX Facts

The NI tax rate for self-employed will go up in April to 1.25 p in the pound, this will equate to an extra £1k on average for locums😟

Credit to www.bbc.com

Cost of Kitting out a Doctor’s Bag

Elocum24’s New Contract

  • Flexible, relaxed and supported
  • NHS pension friendly
  • Fast pay
  • Adastra and Emis
  • Equipment provided

Disclaimer: You may never want to go back to face to face again. Must be based on planet Earth.

Update: Currently all vacancies are filled up. We will update our GP Locums once there is any vacancy available. To stay connected with us please join Elocum24.

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