Starting out as a Locum GP
If you are a general practitioner who is thinking about taking the leap into locum GP work, then this guide may help you. Many doctors have never been self-employed before and have always had the safety net of stable employment, and trying locum GP work is a massive change that can be extremely daunting. Whether you are a GP who is looking to dip their toes into locum work, or you are looking to use locum GP work to create a healthier work life balance at home, there is a role for everyone in this fast paced and rewarding career.
We are going to explore how you can take the first steps into making a career change and offer some handy tips and advice to get you through the transition.
Locum GP – a changing role?
By definition, a locum GP is a GP who provides temporary relief to a practice or service, both in hours or out of hours. However, in more recent times the role of a locum GP has become much more diverse, and temporary can mean anything these days as it is reliant on the demand of the individual service. Historically, general practices relied on locum GPs as cover for sickness, holidays, and maternity leave, but with the NHS being increasingly in short supply of permanent GPs the role of the locum GP is now changing. Locum GPs ability to assist with medical services and practices has now become invaluable to the NHS, and in a time where healthcare workers are stretched extremely thinly, having the option to take on locum GP work to ease the burden is certainly an appealing choice.
The two most common reasons that a GP may choose to work in a locum role seem to be flexibility and the earning potential. Locum GPs have the ability to choose their own work schedule, and have the ability to earn between 50-60% more than a salaried GP – what is not to love?
Top Tips for Locum GP work
Relish the challenge
As much as it might seem scary to start out as a locum GP, it is also a fantastic opportunity to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone, while gaining a vast amount of knowledge in a short space of time. By working in different practices, you will gain a unique insight into how different systems and environments adapt to satisfy the needs of all their patients. You will be given the opportunity to care for a wide variety of patients and get used to working with new team members on a regular basis.
Always be prepared
It is important that you always have to hand in your key documents when you are looking for locum GP work so you can make it as easy as possible to send them over when you find the perfect role. We’ve put together a list that of documents that you will need to get you started:
- An up-to-date CV with at 2 clinical references
- An enhanced DBS
- Indemnity insurance
- Proof of your right to work in the UK
- Performers list letter or email
- GMC revalidation dates
- Safeguarding of children
- Safeguarding of vulnerable adults
There are some practices who will have a list of their preferred locums, and it is imperative that you get yourself added to this list. You will also need to make sure that you are constantly checking your inbox so you can respond as soon as possible to secure sessions as many are first come, first serve. You should also keep track of your booked sessions, as it is extremely easy to double book yourself and you don’t want to be in the practice’s bad graces. When you turn up to a new surgery, you should try and get there earlier than the start of your shift so you get a chance to meet the team, have a tour, find your room, and log into the operating system before patients start to arrive.
Get a call back
The key to being a successful locum GP is making sure that you are remembered for the right reasons. You can start by being punctual and organised, and arriving at the clinic looking smart with all the right equipment, and by being helpful, approachable, and fencible to meet the needs of the surgery.
Join a Medical Services
It all sounds a bit daunting, doesn’t it? But don’t worry! Key Medical Services are here to help make your assignments as easy to manage as possible. We want to take the hassle out of finding the perfect roles. By working with Key Medical Services, we can help with:
- Finding the roles that suit you and your lifestyle
- Keep on top of your paper work
- Keep you fully compliant
- Help you work towards your career goals
- Timely and competitive payment
- 24/7 support
A good GP should always be prepared, and this is the key to keeping organised if you are looking for long term opportunities. We are here to make sure that you are prepared, organised, and ready for work no matter what. Get in touch today to find out more information, and start your KMS career today!