slartibartfast

Should you locum or not? your guarandamnteed guide

42 posts in this topic

I will not advise anyone to do locum anymore. The pay rates are down, trusts are massively cutting costs when clinical workload is skyrocketing. Up to 5 locum agencies are chasing every locum job.

I wll be applying for a permanent job to start this August and ending my 4 years of locuming.

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I couldn't agree more with you Miracle.

 

Well done you for 4 years stint as Locum!

 

You also make a very valid point about "workload skyrocketing," and Trusts cutting costs. The consequence of this is anybodys' guess.

 

Increased absenteism, increased stress at work, high chances of clinical mistakes and eventually more "payouts" by the Trusts!!

 

God save the patients.

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I will not advise anyone to do locum anymore. The pay rates are down, trusts are massively cutting costs when clinical workload is skyrocketing. Up to 5 locum agencies are chasing every locum job.

I wll be applying for a permanent job to start this August and ending my 4 years of locuming.

 

4 yrs locum!!!  you must be a millionaire by now.its sad others cant get into  locum now

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We are seeing a lot of Trusts hanging back on recruiting substantively for posts. A lot of people are being offered NHS Locum contracts, which seem to be the worst of both worlds. If I ran a Trust I would be filling every gap substantively as soon as possible, and worrying about any reductions in headcount later. Essentially it doesn't really matter in terms of employment law if you are employed substantively or as an NHS Locum, if you hit 2 years, you've got the same rights.

 

Private sector is always an option, and as CCGs are implemented and changes filter through, I can see the day ahead where the first NHS Trust loses it's inpatient beds, as the local CCG commisions inpatient services from a private sector provider. I know of several providers who could easily bid for and win a contract.

 

It all really depends on how CCGs split up a contract, as I can't see the immediate ability for them to provide community services, although it wouldn't be awfully hard to build that capacity. The issue would come with "gate keeping" access to the inpatient beds, and the cost implications of that.

 

Drifting well off topic now, but to sum up the more change there is, the better it is for us an agency and you as locum doctors. When the market went a bit slow, it was mostly down to a small drop in the number of jobs, which made everyone more reluctant to move on and leave the "devil they know", and this lack of turnover led to the drought of positions. There weren't really much (if any) less doctors working. It is picking up a bit though, and we've just had our best 3 months ever, with more doctors working for us than ever before in Psychiatry. I forsee interesting times ahead though!

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Dear Frontier Psychiatrist,

 

Pls tell me the secret behind you being able to do staff grade jobs continuously for more than 4 years in this climate where many agencies are chasing one job. Recently a trust in Manchester received 30 CVs for just one locum job. 

I am struggling to find SG jobs despite papers 1 & 2 and section 12 and over 5 experience in psychiatry. Maybe its because i have not got CT3 training yet. What are the areas consultants concentrate on when looking at CVs?

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I started when locum jobs were plentiful and I guess Trusts like to see experience on my CV. 

 

I also have my MRCPsych which immediately puts you ahead

 

Having said all of that I think the fact that I'm a UK graduate sets me apart also

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Hi Paul. Could you remind us please which locum agency you represent?

BW

Zoran

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Hi Zoran,

 

I work for interact Medical, I try not to actively recruit from here, occasionally sending a private message to someone but that's about it. I wouldn't want to be accused of trying to get "free advertising" by plastering myself all over the board! Always happy to respond to PMs though, and always happy to have a "no obligation" chat with anybody about how we see it from our side.

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As I said I've been doing locum work for 4 years (almost 4 1/2!)

Over this time I've worked in many different hospitals in a variety of different jobs

I honestly feel that my clinical skills have developed in such a way that wouldn't have been possible taking the more traditional routes

Also the pay is far superior - comparable to consultant pay in most cases

To be honest I'm struggling to gain motivation to get into an ST4 post!

 Yes. I agree with you that the pay is far superior may be even more than consultants considering the benefits and tax reliefs. I also have been doing locum job for nearly 4 and half years in 2 jobs. First 6 months as a SHO and now nearly four years in the current staff grade post. I have been offered permanent staff grade post to the high end of staff grade pay scale but had not accepted the permanent job after calculating how much take home money I would get each month. Bought some domains and property plots (back home) as investment from the locum income. Like to buy more property (land plots) back home and got to do locum as long as it's possible to do so.

 

I do not have desire to work 9 am -5 pm job all my life and if possible, like to retire as soon as possible if other side income has become good enough.

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As I said I've been doing locum work for 4 years (almost 4 1/2!)

Over this time I've worked in many different hospitals in a variety of different jobs

I honestly feel that my clinical skills have developed in such a way that wouldn't have been possible taking the more traditional routes

Also the pay is far superior - comparable to consultant pay in most cases

To be honest I'm struggling to gain motivation to get into an ST4 post!

 Yes. I agree with you that the pay is far superior may be even more than consultants considering the benefits and tax reliefs. I also have been doing locum job for nearly 4 and half years in 2 jobs. First 6 months as a SHO and now nearly four years in the current staff grade post. I have been offered permanent staff grade post to the high end of staff grade pay scale but had not accepted the permanent job after calculating how much take home money I would get each month. Bought some domains and property plots (back home) as investment from the locum income. Like to buy more property (land plots) back home and got to do locum as long as it's possible to do so.

 

I do not have desire to work 9 am -5 pm job all my life and if possible, like to retire as soon as possible if other side income has become good enough.

 

Well done! Good attitude!

 

How have you managed 4 years in the same job? I always get moved on after 1 year to 18/12 as they hire a substantive.

 

Are you an agency locum?

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As I said I've been doing locum work for 4 years (almost 4 1/2!)

Over this time I've worked in many different hospitals in a variety of different jobs

I honestly feel that my clinical skills have developed in such a way that wouldn't have been possible taking the more traditional routes

Also the pay is far superior - comparable to consultant pay in most cases

To be honest I'm struggling to gain motivation to get into an ST4 post!

 Yes. I agree with you that the pay is far superior may be even more than consultants considering the benefits and tax reliefs. I also have been doing locum job for nearly 4 and half years in 2 jobs. First 6 months as a SHO and now nearly four years in the current staff grade post. I have been offered permanent staff grade post to the high end of staff grade pay scale but had not accepted the permanent job after calculating how much take home money I would get each month. Bought some domains and property plots (back home) as investment from the locum income. Like to buy more property (land plots) back home and got to do locum as long as it's possible to do so.

 

I do not have desire to work 9 am -5 pm job all my life and if possible, like to retire as soon as possible if other side income has become good enough.

 

Well done! Good attitude!

 

How have you managed 4 years in the same job? I always get moved on after 1 year to 18/12 as they hire a substantive.

 

Are you an agency locum?

 Thanks. They did some interviews but they hadn't found the right candidate one way or another. Also there are changes in NHS and may be that's why I have been in the same post for nearly 4 years. I am working as an agency locum staff grade.

 

I don't like 9-5 pm jobs because I'm not in control of my time and would prefer to work random hours whenever I feel like throughout the week.  In my opinion, life is too short to be in full time 9-5 pm posts until the age of 65 or 70 years.

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That's by far the longest I've ever heard anyone working int he same post as an agency locum!

 

In one place I worked they simply got rid of all locums in one go rather than keep them on

 

Sounds like you've landed on your feet there man!

 

I agree with your sentiments regarding 9-5 lifestyle too. I hope to break free one day

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That's by far the longest I've ever heard anyone working int he same post as an agency locum!

 

In one place I worked they simply got rid of all locums in one go rather than keep them on

 

Sounds like you've landed on your feet there man!

 

I agree with your sentiments regarding 9-5 lifestyle too. I hope to break free one day

May be I was lucky in a way. But moving around is not bad either and we learn more about new places. My first locum post was in Bangor, Wales. I liked the beautiful scenaries of Wales and I had to drive 50 mile trip for clinics twice per week. It was a joy to work there in Wales sometimes having lunch near a beautiful stream along the way to the clinic. Also I went to Snowdonia and it was also very nice.

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Having read all these comments. I think I will risk becoming a locum doctor. Working for the NHS in a substantive post is becoming a bit boring for me. I would rather travel, stay away and earn more.

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Hello!


   My name is Morgan Poulin and I am an associate recruiter for Barton Associates. We are a company that assists physicians and physician assistants find locum tenens work. I specifically represent the psychiatry department at the company. I work with my clients to find a position that best fits their availability and desired area of work. A huge benefit of working with an agent like myself, is personal commitment to ensuring that the locum tenens assignment works best for the needs of my client. If you would be interested in speaking with myself for future employment opportunities please contact me at my direct line (860) 789 3151. 
Best Wishes!

 

Barton Associates 
Associate Recruiter 
Address: 1 Corporate Rd. Suite 106, Enfield, CT 06082
Phone: (860) 789-3151
Mobile: (860) 510-8002 

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The situation with locums has changed a lot over the last few years, especially with IR35. 

I was in a substantive pay locum consultant post (directly working with trust) until yesterday. 

Will be starting a locum pay job (leaving London after 6 years here) after a long time next. 

The only two things making me think of not coming back to London are the costs of housing, the commute if I buy an out of area house, and time flying like nobody's business - gym, eat and it's already 930/10pm. 

It's good to read this thread as it reminds me of what was good and bad about locuming for me. 

lessons learnt:
Not to use it as a vehicle to throw money around. 
Use the money for investments. 
Have a set figure in my mind of how much I would like to earn and stick to it (vs having an open ended timeline, or extending it for one reason or another). 

Get full CESR equivalency, and transition to a substantive post at highest grade consultant pay outside London, and then find a substantive pay protected post in London. 

Look to get locum posts in London somewhere down the line (pay is around £82-84ph). But have to live with the fact that I'll keep getting shuffled around. 

Or if it all works out, I might even consider settling outside London - I've always liked big cities, but Manchester and Birmingham aren't options after having spent a fair bit of time there - but Bath, Bristol, Brighton, or even Exeter/Devon/Cornwall are options. 

At the end of the day, locums are like a hot, crazy girlfriend or an affair - you can't keep doing it (unless your wife agrees i.e. the jobs are close to home, and long term) and you've got to come back to 'reality' or choose life like they say in Trainspotting - the wife, the kids, the car, the mortgage, the washing machine. 

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Its nice to hear an update from a seasoned member. Your posts are analytical and helpful slartibartfast.

Good luck with your next part of your journey outside London

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