The Nursing and Allied Health Rural Locum Scheme (NAHRLS) is a component of the Australian Government’s National Health and Hospital Network Reform agenda and has been established to address the challenges and barriers that rural and remote health professionals face when accessing short term leave.
NAHRLS is focused on supporting health service organisations by administering an uncomplicated start-to-finish locum placement service which aims to enhance the ability of eligible health professionals to take leave and improve access of rural and remote communities to nurses, midwives and allied health professionals.
NAHRLS was established under a contract awarded by the Department of Health and Ageing to Aspen Medical Pty Ltd in April 2011. The programme supports rural and remote health services by providing suitably matched nurses, midwives and allied health professionals to fill short term placements (up to 14 days per request) while staff are on leave.
The primary objective of the programme is to ensure rural and remote health services maintain sufficient staff-to-patient ratio while permanent staff take leave for continuing professional development (CPD), training, and personal leave.
NAHRLS is responsible for all the administration associated with recruiting and credentialing appropriate locums. NAHRLS arrange and cover all the costs of the locum’s travel, accommodation, meals and incentives payments whilst on placement. There are no agency fees, the hosting organisation is only responsible for covering the base locum wage (including superannuation) for the period the locum is required.
“The ability to allow health providers a staffing resource through NAHRLS certainly encourages Managers to support the endeavours of their staff in maintaining currency and competency.”
Mark Leddy, Practice Manager