Addressing GP shortages in NHS Kent and Medway with Lantum

Established in 2019, NHS Kent and Medway covers 188 GP practices, 41 PCNs and serves a population of 1.9 million. With some of their population in coastal and rural areas, finding GPs and delivering services is often challenging.

With the lowest GP-to-patient ratios in the country, NHS Kent and Medway had trouble fully staffing services, especially considering the amount of time, effort, and expense it took to find locum GPs through locum agencies.

When the flexible staff pool funding was released at the end of 2020, they saw an opportunity to adopt a solution that would help them quickly engage more GPs to fill shifts. Following a procurement exercise, Lantum was chosen as the preferred provider and started working with NHS Kent and Medway in April 2021.

An end-to-end solution for flexible staffing, without extra paperwork

While other providers offered just a digital platform, NHS Kent and Medway saw that Lantum was the only full-service solution that offered:

  • A Lantum-run, flexible staff pool
  • Clinician onboarding support
  • Ongoing support for GPs and administrators
  • Support for a multidisciplinary staff bank, including clinical supervisors, that expands their capacity to see patients

Lantum additionally provided the opportunity to work with more remote GPs and customise it to NHS Kent and Medway’s specifications.

Driving remote and in-person results

Lantum has been integrated across NHS Kent and Medway’s GP services, with positive results including:

Great feedback from staff and locum GPs

When surveyed, 88% of NHS Kent and Medway staffers said Lantum is easy to use, and 94% said they would recommend the Lantum staff bank to their colleagues. The main benefits they listed included access to reliable locum GPs, quick response times, ease of posting shifts and the time saved compared to working with agencies.

Locum GPs like that the platform manages invoicing and pension paperwork for them, and that it’s easy to find shifts and communicate with practices. Lantum also provided free DBS checks for all GPs, which increased the number of locums working with NHS Kent and Medway.

Using resources effectively at NHS Kent and Medway

Lantum’s staff bank helps GP practices reduce costs, spend less time on admin, and engage locum staff that want more flexibility.

“It’s all in one place, which is really key,” says Alistair Lindsay, Associate Director, Primary Care Transformation, Development and Improvement at NHS Kent and Medway. “What practices can do now is book shifts further in advance and make these available to a much wider pool of primary care staff than was previously possible. Locum staff can also benefit from new shift opportunities being sent out to them rather than having to search for available shifts.”

Rolling out remote consultation services to reach rural areas

To address the problem of filling shifts in rural communities and where there are fewer available locum staff, NHS Kent and Medway is piloting remote working with a remote clinical desktop solution.

“We’re currently undertaking a pilot hosting remote shifts on Lantum, which is a top priority for us right now. Lantum is great because they’ve been able to work with us on integrating this local scheme into the Lantum platform — allowing our GPs to easily select between remote and in-person shifts.” 

Alistair Lindsay, Associate Director, Primary Care Transformation, Development & Improvement, NHS Kent and Medway

Moving forward with Lantum

As NHS Kent and Medway scale out their partnership with Lantum, they’re keeping an eye on how GPs use the platform and where they’re booking shifts so they can ensure equitable GP coverage across all of their practices.

They’re also planning to continue their remote consultation rollout using Lantum, adding more GPs and reaching more patients online. Not only does integrating remote consultation with in-person appointments allow GPs more options for flexible working, but it also brings more healthcare options to patients no matter where they live.  

Find out how Lantum can help your organisation build a flexible staff pool for high-quality patient care.


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