Can I locum in my F1 or F2 Year?
If you’re currently in your Foundation Training, you will have heard about ‘locuming’ from one of your colleagues. It is a lucrative way of make money whilst you’re still training, and a common option for doctors taking F3 years after they finish Foundation Training.
But what is a locum doctor? And are you actually allowed to locum during Foundation Training?
In this article, we’ll break that down.
What is a locum doctor?
We’ve written an entire article on this, which you can find here. Essentially, these are doctors who temporarily fill a role/shift within a hospital, practice, or clinic to cover staff absences or shortages.
‘Locuming’ just describes the process of working these shifts, which will normally be at significantly greater pay than the training post equivalent. It’s a great way to earn extra cash in your free time and build up your clinical experience too.
In fact, due to the better pay, flexibility and control over your work conditions, the vast majority of Foundation doctors will now choose to take a year out of training to work as a locum in an F3 year.
Can I locum in my F1 year?
As an F1 you can only locum within the same Trust that you are currently working in as a Foundation Trainee.
F1 doctors will only have a provisional registration with the GMC. On the GMC Register, F1s are marked as “Provisionally Registered with a License to Practice".
This restricts your ability to locum in another Trust outside of where you currently work.
So, picking up some extra shifts in your current or previous departments (wherever you feel most comfortable) is the best plan. We personally wouldn’t recommend locuming in a department that you haven't already rotated through.
You can either arrange this directly with your rota-coordinator or through the hospital's Staff Bank, which is run by the HR or Medical Staffing team. You wouldn't work with a locum agency at this point.
Can I locum in my F2 year?
Once you complete F1, you’ll have a Full License to Practice from the GMC (”Registered with a License to Practice”). This means the restrictions from your F1 year disappear, and you’ll be able to locum anywhere you choose.
At this stage, most F2 doctors will still prefer to locum in their current hospitals due to the convenience and familiarity with the system, Trust-specific clinical guidelines, and a relationship with the senior staff members.
If you wanted, at this stage you would be able to locum in another Trusts through a locum agency or via their Staff Bank. You can learn how to do this in this article here.
But most doctors will normally start locuming in new Trusts in their F3 year, as they’ll have more experience in various specialties and will find it easier to get work elsewhere.
When can I use Messly during my F2 year?
Messly’s app is a faster, simpler and more transparent way to find locum work, that has become THE way that doctors find locums.
We help you find the best paid, most rewarding and most convenient locums by making the best locum agencies compete to find you work.
We’ve chosen just the most reputable locum agencies, who get regular access to the best shifts, and we make them pitch you through the app on why they're the best agency to meet your needs. It’s like Tinder for Locums… 💘
Messly is open to F2s from February of your F2 year, in order to start looking for work from the August when you complete your Foundation Training.
Agencies tend to be best for finding you regular, full-time locum work, which isn't an option during your F2 year. The vast majority of F2s will only be open to doing the occasional locum shift, and this is usually almost always in their current department through the hospital’s Staff Bank.
So you wouldn’t benefit from registering with agencies just yet.
After creating a profile with us, your account will go live in May. This is the optimal time, as this is when agencies will have a good idea of what work will be available in August. We will help you find which agencies are best for you, get registered with them, and start booking shifts to get your F3 year off to a great start.
If you register with Messly before February, we’ll add you to a waitlist so you can be one of the first to make a profile. In the meantime, we’ll send you all the essential guides and blogs from the Messly team about how to plan for a successful locum year as an F3.
Your Ultimate Guide to Succeeding as a Locum Doctor
This article is part of a wider series of resources and guides that are designed to support you as a locum doctor, covering areas such as getting your first job, managing your finances, understanding your rights, and many more. Visit our Locum Doctor Hub for everything you need to know about locuming today.
Additionally, if you're considering an F3 year, you might also find it useful to look through the selection of resources we've put together in our F3 Resource Hub.
Find locum work on your terms
The best locum agencies together in one place, competing to find you the best locum shifts. Managed for free through your Messly account.