ADVICE & TIPS FOR LOCUM DOCTORS
It can be confusing when you start locuming, so we have made some hint and tips to help you get the most out of working as a locum doctor.
1. Join a Minimum of Two Locum Agencies
Sounds like effort? Yes joining a locum agency can be a bit of effort but we would recommend joining them at the same time so you have all the documentation/certificates ready and can email out to both agencies at once. Why join more than one agency? It helps you to get access to more jobs, as most hospitals have their preferred locum agency that they will offer their jobs out with, and it will vary depending on the trust who they will give preference to. It also encourages the locum agencies to find you a job quicker if they know the other agency might sign you up first.
2. Get The Locum Agency Bonus
We have set up the only way doctors can pick up a bonus to join locum agencies. So you can now refer yourself to each locum agency and get up to £350 referral bonus for every agency you join. Check it out here.
3. Be Clear With Your Locum Agencies
When you are speaking to your locum agency reps be clear from the start where you want jobs, what rate you are looking for and if you are looking for jobs with another agency. Building a relationship with your rep is helpful as they are going to be more proactive in getting you into a job you want, and if they get a good job through for good rate they are more likely to offer it to a doctor they get on well with first. Having said this, don't be a complete pushover, more often than not locum agency reps will try and get you placed in a job for a lower rate than you are looking for, as they will get the same (if not more) commission if you take a job for £30 per hour rather than a job for £50 per hour, and there are a lot more jobs available at lower rates, so they may put the pressure on you to take these jobs.
4. Update Your Agency
If you take a job with one agency let any other agency you are signed up with know this, they are used to doctors who are signed up to other locum agencies. Give them details of the job, so when you get close to the end of the contract the other agency can start looking at other jobs, while your current agency can liaise with the hospital to get you extended.
5. Keep Record Of The Hours Worked
Some locum doctors will photocopy each timesheet before they give this in and file it. More simply you can log it on your phone's notepad where you just write the date of the week worked and add below to the week you get paid for. We recommend this because occasionally some trusts are not the most organised at getting you paid, and by the time you realise (if you realise) it takes a long time to go through everything and work out which week it was.
6. Don't Forget To Have Annual Appraisals
Unfortunately this is GMC requirement. The main things to consider is CPD points and colleague feedback. Its straight forward to do, but just to be aware of it. You can get more advice on doctors appraisals and get an exclusive discount for your appraisal here.
7. Keep Your References Up To Dates
You need two consultant references each year to keep you updated with you locum agency. If you are going to change job, or your consultant is moving then it is worth getting them to fill in a reference form rather than trying to make contact with a consultant you haven't seen for several month to fill in a reference form. Annoyingly the locum agencies will only accept their own reference form so get one from each locum agency for your consultant to complete.
8. Enjoy It!
If you have any questions then we are more than happy to help. Email us here.