“Forgive me father because I have sinned”. I have committed the ultimate of sins as a locum and for reasons I cannot fathom managed not to put a booking for an afternoon in my diary. What made this worse, if there is a worse sin, is that I, thinking I was free, had done an overnight shift at short notice the morning of my sin, and then gone to bed with my phone on silent, blissfully unaware of the list of patients waiting my attention. By the time I woke the practice had closed and my name was mud
“Yes father, thank you for that, I will recite the 7 deadly sins of a locum and say three hail GMCs”
Thou shall not make errors with your diary
Thou shall not criticize the partners that pay you
Thou shall not moan when asked to do work
Thou shall not bark at the practice staff
Thou shall not fornicate with the practice staff
Thou shall write your name after each entry in the notes
Thou shall not eat the last digestive biscuit
“But father, do you think this means I shall never get to enter the pearly gates and pass in the land of partnership. Will I have to spend forever in the purgatory of the locum world?”
“Thank you father, I understand you – and of course it makes sense when you say it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a locum who has committed any of these sins to enter the heaven of partnershipdom”
Oh woe is me!
I am sure we have all done it, a simple administrative error, either one of omission or forgetting to save properly an entry in a diary can have disastrous consequences. Even though I insist on email booking, or at least confirmation by email, and all my entries are synched on my phone with my Google desktop calendar, we have to accept that mistakes will happen.
The one thing about being a locum is you can’t share the blame; you can’t shift the locus of fault. Because it falls fair and square at your own feet.