Key Locums are a specialist medical recruitment agency, providing locum and permanent staff to clients nationwide.With a business model built on providing high quality, compliant, and skilled staff, we aim to give our candidates and clients a personable, professional, and focused.

Is There A Seasonal Demand for Locums?

Posted on 29.07.2019

In short, the answer to this question is yes. As temperatures soar and the NHS issues warnings about heat exhaustion and dehydration, it's easy to see how the time of year can affect health services. Weather extremes inevitably cause an influx of patients, especially among the elderly, as do festive periods where people indulge in heavy alcohol consumption. School holidays can also be a factor, as doctors who are parents take time off to spend with their families. 

It makes sense therefore that locums experience different levels of demand depending on the time of year. When surveyed, approximately 85% of our candidates noticed a seasonal shift, both in hospitals and general practice. One commented that, “Permanent staff take time off for school holidays which require locums to cover them.” They added that “During festive periods there is also a higher demand for locums.” 


Winter has traditionally been a time that puts a strain on the NHS and the healthcare system in general. Geriatricians, paediatricians and doctors who specialise in respiratory medicineoften find themselves seriously oversubscribed. The reaction to this is usually to bring in locums to relieve the pressure, increasing the number of roles open.  


A pattern is then clearly established, as the seasons change every year (global warming hasn’t completely halted the onslaught of winter). This means that hospitals and practices bring on more locums seasonally as a matter of course, instead of waiting for flu season to hit. However, our survey showed another reason for the demand that has nothing to do with the changing seasonsOne of our surveyed candidates asserted that “many staff are leaving permanent employment for flexible working patterns and better wages.” It’s evident that some doctors are opting to switch to locum work.  


So, with people leaving more traditional, structured work environments, it perhaps makes sense then that locums will become more in demand  especially when taken in conjunction with the New Junior Doctor Contract limiting work hours.  

Have you noticed a change?  


If you would like to register your interest in locum work then please email us at or call us at 0844 561 0950. 

We look forward to working with you soon. 

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