Guidance

Starting As A Locum

Starting out as a locum can feel very daunting. You have qualified as a GP and are happy with the challenges of clinical complexity but being self-employed and running yourself as a business commodity can feel like a whole new world.

The following links and pages are here to help you along that journey. There is a wealth of resources out there to help and we have tried to bring a number of them to one easy to find location.

Advice

If you are considering becoming a locum immediately after you qualify then do look at our page ‘Getting Ready to Qualify’ to make sure you get everything in place to allow you to practice as a locum. Getting ready to qualify as a GP? What you need to know…

If you are just moving to the Wessex Area then have a look at the following link ‘New to Wessex’ Newly qualified in Wessex?

BMA Locum GP Handbook

The BMA have also created an excellent guide which is free to access if you are a BMA member.https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/contracts/sessional-and-locum-gp-contracts/locum-gp-handbook

Locum Charter

It is important to specify your terms and conditions with each practice. This document may form a useful basis for discussion: (With thanks to Central Lancashire Local Medical Committee who produced the attached): Locum Charter

Some other useful places to look that have free excellent advice on what you need to consider when starting out:

Locum Organiser

https://locumorganiser.com/getting-started/

National Association of Sessional GPs

https://www.nasgp.org.uk/starting-out-as-a-freelance-locum-gp/

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What can the LMC do for Locums / Sessional GPs

As the only representative body of all local GPs recognised in statute, LMCs throughout the UK play a vital role in supporting and promoting general practice.

In particular:

  • LMC committee members influence the policy of the BMA’s General Practitioners Committee through the UK and England Conference of LMCs.
  • The LMC negotiates primary care funding and contracts with commissioners.
  • LMCs provide a professional advisory and supportive role to individual GPs, including those involved in a dispute in their partnership, PCN, with a commissioner, or a dispute between a sessional GP and a practice.

The specific offer that Wessex LMCs provides to Sessional GPs in addition to the above includes:

  • Support for employing practices and sessional GPs on matters related to the sessional GP’s employment or engagement.
  • A template for salaried GPs to self-check their contract against the BMA model contract.
  • Advice and support on administrative issues related to the National Performers List.
  • Support for GPs undergoing NHS England or GMC performance processes
  • Pastoral Support led by a Medical Director, with access to subsidised coaching and mentoring.
  • Eligibility to stand at LMC and regional GPC elections to represent your peers.
  • Regular newsletters on current issues
  • Education and training
  • Events

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Registering and Advertising your Availability – A Guide

Salaried GPs working in Wessex are automatically a member by virtue of being employed at a levy-paying practice in the Wessex LMCs constituencies. Locum membership costs £50 per annum (but is free for the first calendar year post-CCT), and is tax deductible.

Wessex LMCs has a dedicated page giving Locum GPs, Locum Nurses and Locum Practice Managers the ability to advertise their availability. Wessex LMCs: Looking for a Locum

To add an entry to this page, you will need to create an account on our website by following these steps:

  • Select Register at the top of our Home Page
  • Add your email address and create a secure password
  • Select ‘I am a Locum – £50.00 per annum’ 
  • Complete your details, choosing the location you are a Locum in.
    • If you would like to publish your availability on our we page, please complete ‘Add your availability’, the area you would prefer to work in and upload a CV. Uploading your CV in optional.
    • If you are joining Wessex LMC as a Locum for the support we offer, and do not want to add your availability, please scroll to the bottom of the page and select NEXT after you have added your contact number.
  • STEP 4 – Select your payment type, and add your card details for your annual subscription of £50.00 to be processed.

Once you have an account on our website, you will see a button at the top of the page called ‘My Account’.

Here you will see a menu on the left hand side giving you access to, among other things, your profile, your payment history, and any events you have attended.

If you want to publish your availability, please select ‘My Profile’ and then ‘Professional Details’. Tick the box at the top of this page to ‘Publish Availability’ followed by ‘Save Details’ at the bottom. You can return to this tab whenever you want to change your details.

Your availability will then appear on our page Looking for a Locum – Wessex LMC

Please Note:

  • Once submitted Wessex LMCs will review your application and you will either be sent a confirmation email  or a request for further clarification of your details as required.
  • You will be emailed every 6 months to be reminded that your details are still in place.
  • Should you wish to make any changes to your details please sign into your account and click on the tab ‘Professional Details’ under ‘My Profile’
  • Your details will remain on the Wessex LMCs website until you ask for them to be removed.
  • Please bear in mind that our webpage Wessex LMCs: Looking for a Locum can be viewed users of our website. Therefore, by submitting your details you hereby consent to them being shared.

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Locum / Sessional GPs – Education & Training

Local education events are not only important for CPD points but provide an opportunity to network with colleagues. However there are plenty of useful online learning resources too.

BMA

https://www.bma.org.uk/events

Learning and development webinars:  https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/career/learning-and-development/webinars

E Learning for Healthcare

http://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/safeguarding-children/

http://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/safeguarding-adults/

PCWC Career Flex (For Dorset GP’s)

Primary Care Workforce Centre Career Flex

Wessex Deanery

http://www.wessexdeanery.nhs.uk/

email gptrainers@bournemouth.ac.uk to be put on mailing list (Dorset only)

Wessex LMCs

Wessex LMCs: Education and Events

RCGP (Wessex Faculty)

http://www.rcgp.org.uk/courses-and-events/events-search-results.aspx?f=wessex faculty

http://elearning.rcgp.org.uk/

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Locum / Sessional GPs – Appraisal and Revalidation

The RCGP and GMC are aware that fulfilling appraisal and revalidation requirements can be more difficult for sessional GP’s and changes have now been made to help others address this. Make sure you (and your appraiser) are clear on what is needed.

RCGP Mythbusters

A really great guide to read and understand what is and isn’t expected of you as a GP to negotiate your way with ease through Appraisal and Revalidation processes.

https://www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/practice/revalidation/mythbusters-appraisal-and-revalidation.aspx

BMA Appraisal Tips for Sessional GPs

https://www.bma.org.uk/advice/employment/appraisals/appraisal-tips-for-sessional-gps

The BMA also suggest further reading the RCGP guidance to appraisal and revalidation: https://www.rcgp.org.uk/training-exams/practice/revalidation/guide-to-supporting-information-for-appraisal-and-revalidation.aspx

FourteenFish Appraisal Toolkit

Appraisal toolkit for Doctors: https://www.fourteenfish.com/about/appraisal

Revalidation tips for Locum Doctors  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tsbEub-xlrw

Appraisal guide with tips for locums

RCGP Guidance for Sessionals

Royal College of General Practitioners: RCGP Guide to supporting information for appraisal and revalidation (2016) 

Revalidation for Locums

Our webpage Revalidation for GP Locums – A Practical Guide  contains a range of practical suggestions that GP locums can use to add to their existing evidence for appraisal. It has been written by GP locums for GP locums.

The key message is that revalidation doesn’t have to be difficult. If in doubt ask early – your Appraiser and your LMC will be happy to help.

We hope that you find it helpful.

Wessex Appraisal Service

Wessex Appraisal Service is commissioned by the NHS England team locally to provide your annual appraisal.

Do you need an appraisal or are you new to the area? Maybe you just want to talk over some appraisal questions? Please see the following link to the Wessex Appraisal Service:

https://www.wessexappraisal.org/

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Support for Locums / Sessional GPs

Being a locum whilst it gives huge flexibility, can lead to people feeling isolated. It is vital both for you professionally and personally to make sure you look after yourself and keep linked in with others. Each person is different and in the world now there are multiple ways of finding that support.

Here we suggest some different organisations or groups that you might wish to consider. You can also contact our office and we may be able to give you other local contacts and can make sure that you receive our emails which are full of information to keep you in touch with what is happening locally and in the wider NHS.

NHS GP Health Service

The NHS GP Health Service is a confidential NHS service for GPs and GP Trainees in England.

The GP Health Service can help with issues relating to a mental health concern, including stress or depression, or an addiction problem, in particular where these might affect work.

GPH is not a service for individuals with mental health problems which require specialist psychiatric input though it can help provide additional support. If you think that you have a mental health problem that requires this level of specialist help you must contact your GP to seek help.

GPH is provided by health professionals who have additional expertise in addressing the issues concerning doctors. These clinicians are available in various locations across England.  NHSE (our commissioners) require that they are able to offer a clinical assessment within one to two hours traveling time.

Access the service by emailing gp.health@nhs.net  or by calling 0300 0303 300. The service is available 8am – 8pm Monday – Friday and 8am – 2pm Saturday.

Please note the service is not for emergency or crisis issues. These should be directed to mainstream NHS.

The GP Health Service can help with issues relating to a mental health concern, including stress or depression, or an addiction problem, in particular where these might affect work Click here for further reading: http://gphealth.nhs.uk/

Small Groups

GP Survival – http://www.generalpracticesurvival.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/GPstateofemergency/ – A voice in support of UK General Practice. https://www.facebook.com/groups/GPSurvival/

Resilient GP – https://www.facebook.com/groups/ResilientGP/ – discussions of issues with primary/secondary care interface

First 5 & Sessional GPs (Dorset) –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/490993870926817/

Tiko’s GP Group on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/groups/tikosgpgroup/ – Appropriately anonymised clinical issues

Your lifeline: Why you should join your local Sessional GP group: https://www.bma.org.uk/connecting-doctors/the_practice/b/weblog/posts/your-lifeline-why-you-should-join-your-local-sessional-gp-group

PBSGL – https://www.pbsgl.co.uk/

Peer Support Groups – Hampshire – contact rose.debell@uhs.nhs.uk

Wessex GP Support Offer

Wessex GP Support offers professional support for practitioners who may be struggling with challenges or obstacles which are causing a negative impact on their performance in the workplace. Click here for further reading: GP Support Offer

BMA Sessional GPs Subcommittee

https://www.bma.org.uk/collective-voice/committees/general-practitioners-committee/gpc-subcommittees/sessional-gps-subcommittee

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Locum Job Opportunities

At the moment there is a wealth of work available out there for locums. The challenge is where do you want to work, what do you want to do and how do you let prospective employers know about you?

Locums can advertise their availability via the Wessex LMCs website, please see the following link for further information: Registering and Advertising your Availability -A Guide

You can search for work here:

Wessex LMCs Job Vacancies: https://www.wessexlmcs.com/jobs

You can also use NHS Choices to search for nearby practices and then send them your CV.

There are a number of choices open to you as a locum – you can practice totally independently or you can join a group – these can provide different levels of support – from simply allowing practices to find you more easily to helping you with admin and in some cases provide some professional peer support in terms of CPD together.

Pallant Medical Chambers (various locations in Hampshire)

https://www.pallantmedical.org.uk/

Dorset GP Locum Hub – http://primarycaredorset.co.uk/locum-hub/

Locum Organiser –  https://locumorganiser.com/

Sulisdoc –  http://www.sulisdoc.co.uk/

Longer Term Work in Practices (Salaried or Retainer)

Why might I do this?

Some people prefer the stability and continuity offered by consistently working in one location with one team and seeing one set of patients over a longer period of time. If you become an employee you also gain certain benefits of paid annual leave, sick leave and maternity leave.

Where to find work?

Wessex LMCs jobs Current Vacancies – Wessex LMC

Our Dorset Workforce https://joinourdorset.nhs.uk/pcroles

RCGP Jobs:  https://jobs.rcgp.org.uk/

One Wight Health: Careers In Healthcare on the Isle of Wight (onewighthealth.co.uk)

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Last Reviewed Date
20/12/2023