5 finance tips for GP locums

Last updated on: Published by: Chanelle Wate 0

Working as a locum GP through Key Medical Services can be a very rewarding move at any stage of your career and comes with a number of benefits, including greater flexibility over your working schedule, a wider variety of assignments to choose from and more opportunity to gain diverse work experience.

As locums operate as contractors, one of the most attractive benefits are the higher remunerations and rates of pay than permanent positions. If you are a partner or employed GP looking to supplement your income, or a retired GP looking for occasional work, or generally seeking a better work-life balance, locum shifts can be invaluable.

Although there are many good reasons to start a career as a locum GP, the work does not come without its challenges. High locum pay is counterbalanced with having to complete your own tax returns, manage your invoices and make pension contributions yourself. Unlike full-time work these deductions aren’t automatically taken from your monthly salary and the admin that comes with locum work can be time-consuming.

It is important to bear these financial responsibilities in mind but it should not put you off becoming a locum GP, as many that have taken the leap find that the pros outweigh the cons.

Below we’ve compiled a list of five things you need to know about your finances and with these considerations in mind, you should be able to accelerate your locum career!

5 things you should know about finances

1. You can control your pay

Unlike full-time doctors with a regular payslip, locum GPs are paid based on an agreed hourly, daily or weekly rate. With Key Medical Services you’ll be paid once your assignment has been completed and upon receipt of a signed timesheet, rather than at the end of the month. You also have the flexibility to choose to work more or less, so your earnings are completely in your control. If you want to ramp up your earnings one month, all you have to do is complete more assignments!

2. You will also need to research the taxation of locum doctors

All locum GPs must be registered with the General Medical Council (GMC) as a practitioner or GP. Then, you will need to register as an independent limited company or set yourself up as self employed. In order to find out which way would suit you more or offer more tax efficiency, speak to an accountant who will be able to advise you.

3. Tracking expenses

As a locum GP there are a lot more expenses you incur which can be claimed back against your earnings, which will reduce the tax you pay. As your employment status is that of a contractor, you can claim expenses such as travel/ mileage, insurance, breakdown cover, courses, phone and internet bills and medical equipment.

Make sure you keep a record of any personal expenses you incur.

Working with Key Medical Services can ensure you’re paid faster

When you partner with Key Medical Services, we ensure you receive speedy payment after completing an assignment using our online digital timesheets portal. Simply fill out your timesheet with the relevant details such as your name, site name, date, start and finish times and the total amount of units worked. Once submitted, you have authenticated your right to be paid and we make sure it is received promptly.

Not only do we ensure you are suitably rewarded for your time, we also offer full dairy management as well as admin support.

If you are considering becoming a locum and are looking for advice on how to source assignments, our team of specialist consultants are happy to guide you in this time. They can help you get your compliance levels up to 100% and help source the best opportunities that suit your career goals.

Utilising the Covid Capacity Expansion Fund in General Practice

Last updated on: Published by: Chanelle Wate 0

To facilitate the government’s goal to vaccinate 44 million people within a five-month period, NHS England has issued the Covid Capacity Expansion Fund, a one-off fund over £150 million that can be used by general practice to support resourcing for their Covid-19 efforts.

Can the Covid Expansion Fund be used for locum GPs?

Originally issued in November 2020, the fund was created to expand general practice capacity by stimulating ‘the creation of additional salaried GP roles that are attractive to practices and locums alike’.

This initially raised concerns that locum GPs would be coerced into full-time salaried positions and that there would be lengthy, bureaucratic recruitment processes to fulfil the requirements of the fund. However, the British Medical Association has since confirmed that ‘the whole intent of the £150m is to provide support direct to practices with minimum bureaucracy in a high-trust manner to support them through the tough winter ahead’. This means that locum GPs can be brought on as efficiently as possible with minimal red tape, making them an invaluable resource to help support general practice at this time.

NHS England outlined that the fund should be used to support seven priorities in general practice:

  1. Increasing numbers of GPs and their patient appointment capacity.
  2. Supporting the establishment of the Covid Oximetry @home model, which involves the remote monitoring of patients with symptoms of Coronavirus.
  3. Establishing first steps in remotely identifying, monitoring and supporting patients with Long Covid.
  4. Maintain list of shielding patients and supporting clinically extremely vulnerable patients.
  5. Addressing backlog of patient appointments including chronic disease management, routine vaccinations and immunisations.
  6. Making progress towards learning disability health checks, with the ambition that all CCGs will reach a target of 67% by March 2021.
  7. Creating the opportunity to offer backfill for staff absences where the individual was unable to work remotely.

Locum GPs provide a cost-effective and flexible way to support full-time healthcare professionals in achieving these seven priorities for general practice in this time. This is because locum GPs can be deployed at speed and can handle a wide range of systems and processes, all while maintaining high-quality care for all patients.

Utilising the Covid Expansion Fund

The Covid Expansion Fund will be allocated to ICSs and CCGs and should average around £22,000 per practice. It should be used to fulfil these seven priorities and only used within general practice. Practices should be aware that It is a non-recurrent fund and should be used to only support resourcing for general practice up until the end of March 2021 and not beyond that date.

Finding locum GPs to support your practice

If you are a healthcare provider or GP practice in need of extra support sourcing exceptional GPs during the pandemic, Key Medical Services is pleased to offer fast and flexible solutions. Please get in touch to discuss your unique requirements and we will endeavour to provide bespoke solutions to suit your needs.

An outline of the COVID Capacity Expansion Fund

Last updated on: Published by: Chanelle Wate 0

In November 2020, NHS England released a document encouraging CCGs, GPs and general practice teams to maintain their efforts to keep patient access to general practice up to pre-Covid levels throughout the national lockdown. To achieve this, NHS England announced the release of the General Practice Covid Capacity Expansion Fund.

What is the COVID Capacity Expansion Fund?

The COVID Capacity Expansion Fund consists of £150m to be used exclusively in general practice, which works out as around £22,000 per practice. NHS England says the intention behind the fund is to provide support to practices who ‘are encouraged to use the fund to stimulate the creation of additional salaried GP roles’ which would be ‘attractive to practices and locums alike’.

There has been some confusion around whether this is intended to move locum GPs into salaried roles rather than offering them fixed-term contracts, but NHS England has since confirmed that the fund is designed to be executed with minimal bureaucracy and surgeries and practices should use the money to bring GPs into ‘substantive’ posts but are free to use the fund for locum GPs too.

Who can use the COVID Capacity Expansion Fund?

All ICSs and CCGs, general practice surgeries, other NHS and private facilities are entitled to access the fund and will be immediately allocated the funding. Although the fund is available to all general practice facilities, NHS England has stipulated some conditions:

Accessing the fund will be conditional on practices and PCNs continuing to complete national appointment and workforce data in line with existing contractual requirements. Where an individual practice is not yet accurately recording activity that is broadly back at its own pre-COVID levels, it is expected to do so as part of accessing the fund. CCGs should seek to understand and support the relatively small number of practices that are finding restoration of their activity most difficult.

How can it be used?

The fund can be used to expand a practice’s capacity up till the end of March 2021 and should not be used to support resourcing after that date.

NHS England has outlined that the fund will create useful staffing solutions by allowing:

  • Greater locum engagement
  • The creation of more salaried positions
  • Increased time commitments from existing staff
  • Support for GPs returning to work to aid COVID efforts

Not only will the increased resources allow for greater patient appointment capacity, it will also provide the opportunity for backfills for staff absences and to support backlogs.

How can I find locums to support my practice?

If you are a healthcare provider or GP practice in need of extra support sourcing exceptional GPs during the pandemic, Key Medical Services is pleased to offer fast and flexible solutions. Please get in touch to discuss your unique requirements and we will endeavour to provide bespoke solutions to suit your needs.