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Little evidence that locum GPs pose greater risk to patient safety, study finds

Existing claims that locum GPs present a greater risk of harming patients are unfounded, according to new research published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. It found that there is little evidence that locum doctors, including GPs, have a 'detrimental' impact on patient care delivery.

Researchers from the University of Manchester looked at 42 international papers, including 24 from the UK, on the impact of locum doctors working in various healthcare settings to determine whether this group is more likely to harm patients than permanent doctors. 

Previous reports highlight longstanding and growing concerns about the quality, safety and cost of locum doctors among a range of stakeholders such as policymakers, employers, regulators and professional bodies. These include locum GPs being less aware of local policies and less familiar with the patient's healthcare history and lacking commitment. 

However, the researchers found there is 'very limited evidence' to support claims that these healthcare professionals deliver lower quality of care than their permanent counterparts. 

Read full story (registration required)

Source: Pulse, 12 November 2019


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