Provisions for locum doctors questioned in Parliament

26 May 2020

Liaison Workforce

The Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, Darren Jones MP (Labour, Bristol North West) asked the Health Secretary via parliamentary questions whether steps have been taken to encourage locum doctors to work more hours during the current COVID-19 outbreak, and whether death in service benefits have been reviewed for locum doctors since the start of the pandemic in the UK.

On the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care’s behalf, Health Minister Jo Churchill responded, stating:

“The National Health Service has mobilised a large number of clinical and non-clinical staff, both retired and who normally work in the private sector, to ensure sufficient supply of medical staff to manage the challenges that this pandemic has created for the NHS.

“In addition, the NHS has a robust temporary staffing supply chain to ensure it can bring in the right people at the right time to deal with fluctuations in demand.

“In general practice, general practitioner (GP) locums as well as returners and substantive GPs wishing to increase their hours are providing additional patient care within the NHS 111 COVID-19 Clinical Assessment Services.

“The NHS Pension Scheme provides good quality death in service benefits to all members. The Secretary of State recently announced a new life assurance scheme for frontline health and social care staff who contract COVID-19 during the course of their work. The scheme is non-contributory and pays a £60,000 lump sum where staff die as a result of COVID-19 and had been recently working in frontline roles and locations where personal care is provided to individuals who have contracted COVID-19.”

Liaison Workforce has continued to partner with its NHS clients during the pandemic; ensuring additional locums are registered on its TempRE system and are available to be deployed where they’re needed to support substantive workers and increase capacity. To find out more about our workforce solutions, please visit Liaison Workforce, or contact us at