Top Tips For Employing Locums
1. Always agree on terms of engagement when booking a locum (guidance on BMA website). These should include expected duties, length of surgery, extras, visits and admin/paperwork. Pay and overtime. How much notice is required for both parties to cancel.
2. Ensure the locum has proof of inclusion on the performers list, GMC and indemnity. All locums will have had an enhanced DBS check on application to the performers list so will not need subsequent DBS checks for the purposes of booking. Child protection, vulnerable adult and CPR training certificates are a performers list requirement and do not need to be requested by the employing practice.
3. Ensure you give new locums some time to familiarise themselves with practice systems e.g.. the computer, how to deal with results/correspondence, visiting policy,
4. Find out the locums name, introduce them to staff and ensure personalised logins where needed. Appoint a key member of staff who the locum can approach easily with queries.
5. Show locums where the loos and coffee/tea facilities are and welcome them to the GPs/staff room for breaks.
6. Encourage the locum to discuss problems or cases with GPs, nurses and other staff.
7. If the locum is new to your computer system they may not be able to use your QOF templates. Allow for this by for example getting the locum to list patients they have seen so that others can add the data to the system.
8. Give and ask for feedback from the locum when they have finished. This could be done informally and followed up formally with a simple feedback questionnaire.
9. Include locums in your SEA and complaints processes. This is good governance for both practice and locum and will help the practice with CQC and the locum with appraisal.
10. Locums can struggle to get patient and colleague surveys for appraisal. If you are arranging these surveys at your practice then consider including locums that you use. Again this benefits both parties.
Remember that if you treat locums well you will have more chance of recruiting them into partnership or as employees.
If you employ a locum regularly they might be regarded as employees by HMRC.
Pay locums promptly on receiving invoices.
Late payment will damage your reputation with locum groups and make it more difficult to get locums. Locums need prompt payment especially of pension contributions (form A) which they must submit within 10 weeks.
Provide locums with a receipt of invoice (usually now done electronically) and itemise payments separating the professional fee, pension contribution and expenses.
This was produced by Dr Mark Selman South West Sessional GPC representative and shared with his permission.
A guide to GP locum induction and Support, with Room tour - This video explains the importance of GP locum induction and how to provide an effective induction to a locum who has not worked in your practice before. It is created with practice managers in mind.
GPC continues to be aware of concerns about the application of IR35 and interpretation of locum employment status, including some employers applying a blanket approach to all locums that they engage, without assessing individuals’ contracting arrangements. The BMA has published guidance on IR35, including a statement which can be used in circumstances where a locum doctor is told by the provider it is engaged by that IR35 will apply without assessment of their circumstances.
Please find attached an update statement on IR35, which addresses the reports we have received regarding inappropriate threats of referral to the GMC.