Newly-qualified GPs who choose to pursue locum work are entering a world of flexibility and invaluable learning and development opportunities. But you may find it hard to find guiding information about what it takes to be a locum, what the work is like, and the specific ins and outs of life as a locum.
When you partner with Key Medical Services, you not only have access to the top assignments available, but you will always have a GP consultant by your side to support you and answer your questions. Key Medical Services is unique in having a Chief Medical Officer, Dr Caroline Rogers, who has over 10 years’ experience supporting doctors with their performance and developing their skills. As a trained appraiser, Caroline also has a comprehensive understanding of what you’re going through and what challenges and triumphs you face, so you will be in good hands!
To make your journey as a newly-qualified GP easier, we have put together a list of FAQs for you to read through to gain a solid understanding of what to expect as a locum and what career choices are ahead.
FAQs for newly-qualified locum GPs:
What is a locum GP?
A locum GP is a fully-trained GP who is on the GP Performers list and who takes on flexible contract work rather than a permanent position with a practice or facility. It allows you to pick and choose which opportunities you want to take based on your own criteria; this could be geared towards specific development opportunities, fitting assignments around additional training or children, or many other scenarios!
What can newly-qualified GPs expect to earn as a locum?
Your take-home pay will depend on a number of variables, such as the number of assignments you completed that week or month, the rate of pay agreed, etc. It will also depend on the organisation you work with and how you negotiate your day rate.
When you work with Key Medical Services, you will gain access to some of the best rates of pay available for locum work.
How many hours do locum GPs work a week?
It’s completely up to you!
Locum work allows you control over your working hours and, essentially, your earnings. If you would like to pick up extra shifts at any point that is possible, or if you would prefer to spread your assignments out to fit around your studies, personal commitments or talks and conferences, etc., that is also an option.
How are locum GPs paid?
The way that you are paid will depend on whether you are registered as a limited company or with an umbrella company. Speak to your accountant on which would work best for you.
When you partner with Key Medical Services, we make sure you are suitably rewarded for your hard work and paid in a timely manner. Our efficient digital timesheets make it quick and easy for you to submit one after each assignment you complete, authenticating your right to be paid as soon as possible.
What documents do I need and where can I find them?
To complete your locum assignments and get paid, you will need a timesheet and these can be found here. You will also need to have some of your compliance documentation with you and will need to ensure it is all up to date. We have a wide variety of information about compliance admin on our online portal here.
What are the processes at the surgery?
When you begin your shift, make sure you head to reception and introduce yourself. Someone will be available to show you around, introduce you to members of the team and it is a good opportunity for you to ask some initial questions about how the facility handles its processes.
What happens if I need to work longer than my contracted assignment?
It is important to try and keep your patient consultations within the allotted time and have five minutes between them to allow for any follow-up paperwork. But if you have any problems or questions when filling out your timesheets or if you’ve worked for more than what was agreed, please speak to your consultant at Key Medical Services who will guide you through the process.
The surgery wants me to do additional work, what do I do/ who should I speak to?
Please speak to your consultant at Key Medical Services as we’re here to manage your diary and help you find optimal positions and to discuss any further assignments.
What happens if a complaint is made?
In your Terms of Agreement contract there should be an outline of the complaints procedure and how this will be communicated with you. If you experience an issue, please contact your consultant who can help you through the complaints and escalations process, our CMO is also available to guide and support you in this process.
Can I work as a locum even when I have a permanent salaried job?
Whilst working as a locum GP is an alternative to occupying a permanent position at a hospital or general practice, you can also pick up additional shifts around your permanent role. As a locum, you can cover last-minute shifts, support departments during times of increased demand as well as more long-term opportunities, such as maternity cover.
What do I do if I can’t make my locum assignment?
If you are unable to make your assignment it is crucial to let your GP consultant at Key Medical Services know as soon as possible so we can take the necessary action.
When will I get paid?
Our digital timesheets enable us to pay you quickly and efficiently for the assignments you complete. You are required to complete one timesheet per practice, i.e., if completing two assignments at two different practices, you would need to submit two different timesheets. Please ensure all timesheets are submitted by the last working day of the week (Monday to Sunday). We can ensure that you will receive payment within 48-72 hours after receipt of your timesheet(s).
Please note that timesheets received after 23.59 will be rolled into the following working day’s payroll.
What do I do if I can’t get my timesheet signed?
If you’re struggling to obtain authorised signatures for the shifts you’ve worked please speak to your specialist consultant at Key Medical Services, as they will be able to help.
If I’m running late who do I contact?
It is important to prepare for your assignment the night before, including travel arrangements, ensuring your bag contains your equipment and a packed lunch to avoid being late. Check the directions and parking situation beforehand if you’re travelling by car and if you do find that you are running behind, contact your consultant at Key Medical Services as soon as possible.
If you are considering becoming a locum and are looking for advice on how to source assignments, our team of specialist consultants would be happy to guide you in this time. They can help you get your compliance levels up to 100% and help source the best locum opportunities that suit your career goals.