Finding Work as a Locum Doctor
There is currently a great demand for locum doctors, and as long as you are flexible and maintain a good record of performance you should not have much difficulty in finding work.
1. Locum Appointment for Service (LAS)
Some doctors prefer the security of taking up a LAS contract. This can last up to three months, and provides cover for the service element (such as clinics, procedure lists and on-call duties) of a registrar post. However, unlike LATs(Locum appointment for training), LAS posts do not count towards training.
2. Internal locum banks
Most trusts have internal locum banks, where available locum shifts will be advertised before going to locum agencies. If you have some local hospitals where you would like to work, it is worth considering joining their locum bank. Rates of pay are very variable – some pay hourly rates comparable to locum agencies, while others pay significantly less. Potential disadvantages are that you often cannot work as a private limited company, and hospitals may not hire you through an agency if you are registered on their bank, which may limit your power of negotiation.
3. Locum agencies
There is a continuously expanding number of recruitment agencies for locum doctors in the UK. Most hospital locum doctors join at least one locum agency, and many register with 2-3 different agencies. Choosing which locum agencies to join is often a difficult decision, and may depend on your specialty, location and recommendations from colleagues. Looking at our list of locum agencies may help you in this decision.
Many newly qualified GPs decide to start off with a period of locum work, to gain experience and explore a variety of settings until they find a practice in which to settle down.
GP locums can work through agencies, but they can also contact practices directly or through networking sites which link available GPs to vacancies. Joining a local Locum GP Chambers may be a useful way to continue your professional development as well as connecting with local practices.