Guide to Locuming

You need to be fully registered to locum outside of your own hospital. Some hospitals might allow FY1s to locum internally for jobs they’ve already completed.

In our guide, we discuss whether you should locum & how you can go about finding locum shifts.

Should I locum?

ProsCons
Flexible lifestyle & work-life balance (including the time to spend on hobbies & other interests)Have to plan your own hours, travel extensively & risk of no shifts
Increased income for fewer hours (assuming you’re not working on top of regular shifts)Lack of training opportunities & organising your own portfolio
Paid for all the hours you workEndless timesheets & no sick or annual leave
Work in different hospitals/specialties & gain experiencesUnfamiliarity with system/patients & trust/training doctors may look down on you or dump jobs on you
Can easily move to another department/hospital if you dislike itMay be asked to change shift-type at short notice e.g. clerking to ward cover. Minimal influence over the department you work

How can I find shifts?

Locuming in your own hospital is easy – you simply sign up to the hospital bank or service and you’ll be set up immediately. To widen your opportunities, experience and pay you could sign up to another hospital bank or locum agency. Doctors frequently complain though about locum agencies incessantly calling them, so instead we recommend Messly as they let you see shifts without sharing your details with locum agencies.

Essential Tips

  • Ensure you’re able to locum by having all your paperwork ready: ID documents, criminal record checks, GMC and indemnity details, exam certificates (e.g. ALS), occupational health forms & a CV outlining your qualifications, experience & skills
  • Ensure you’re clear with what shifts you want to do & where you want to work if you’re signing up with a locum agency
  • Make sure you familiarise yourself with all the local processes (including parking) and obtain all the relevant logins on the day
  • Ensure you know how to get signed off and submit your timesheet so that you are paid
  • The pay you can expect varies between locations due to effects of supply & demand. Usually SHOs are paid £35 to £45 per hour & registrars around £60-70 per hour.
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