Download our free eBook, with 14 chapters packed with the best advice you need for a success as a locum doctor
Hi, I'm Chris 👋
We started Messly in 2016 to help doctors like you have more fulfilling careers. In the last four years we’ve helped over 30,000 doctors with career planning tools, career guides and insights on different medical jobs.
Maybe you have just stepped out of the certainty and structure of a training program and feel daunted by the need to find regular, rewarding and safe work. Or maybe you have wanted to top up your income through locuming, but are uncertain about how to make that happen.
We’ve guided thousands of doctors to help them find the perfect locum work on their terms, and heard the same concerns come up again and again: about finding work, working with an agency, getting paid, indemnity insurance, appraisals, career development...
We are here to help. This guide brings together the knowledge of successful locum doctors we’ve worked over the last five years to answer those questions.
We want you to make it easier for you to find locum work, feel more fulfilled in your work and more financially secure.
We hope you find it useful. Enjoy!
👉 Section 1: Finding Work
The most important, and perhaps the most daunting, part of working as a locum is finding a regular stream of work that’s suitable for your needs. Get that right, and you’re well on the way to having a professionally and financially rewarding life as a locum doctor.
🤔 Is Locuming for You?: Before diving into the specifics of finding work, it’s worth pausing to ask if locuming is a good fit for you, based on your financial and personal circumstances.
🚀 Finding Work as a Locum: Bank and Agency: A breakdown of each approach, how they work, and their pros and cons, covering registration, pay, and access to shifts.
📄 How To Write the Perfect Locum CV: Everything you need to get your CV up to scratch befores you look for locum work, to ensure you have the best possible chance of securing the jobs you really want.
✅ Compliance for Locums: A complete guide to which documents most agencies and banks require from you, and tips to make the registration process as quick and easy as possible.
💯 How to Get the Most From Your Locum Agency: A deep dive into how to work with your locum agency, plus tips for getting the most out of your relationship with them.
📱 The New Way to Find Locum Work: An introduction to Messly's locum service, which allows you to find locum work quickly and easily on your own terms,
👉 Section 2: Starting Work
Once you’ve successfully found the right shifts for you, your mind turns to working those shifts and feeling well-prepared ahead of time.
In this section, we break down:
🏥 Your First Day as a Locum in a New Hospital: Tips to help you prepare for, and successfully navigate, your first day at a new hospital when working as a locum. This will also hopefully give you the opportunity to get invited back for more shifts in the near future.
💫 Settling into a Long-Term Locum Position: Tips to truly settle in and become comfortable when you’re working with a new team in a new hospital, and how to make the most of your time there.
🏆 Specialty-Specific Locum Guides: Detailed guides for each of the main specialties, giving you tips on what to watch out for in each of those departments. These will be especially useful if you haven’t worked in those specialties before.
👉 Section 3: Finances
Working as a locum often means managing variable income from multiple sources, and being responsible for your own finances. It’s common to run into challenges with things such as tax codes and your pension contributions.
💰 How to Make a Living as a Full-Time Locum: Exploring how much you might expect to earn from locum work, highlighting key financial and work-related considerations you should be making, and financial planning tips.
💵 Managing Your Finances as a Locum: An overview of the key issues to consider as a locum, including tax codes, your NHS pension, and getting tax rebates, with specialist advice from our friends at Medics' Money.
⚖️ Understanding Your Rights as a Locum: Here we explain what you’re entitled to and help you understand your employee rights as a locum doctor, with regards to things like annual leave entitlement and other employment issues.
👉 Section 4: Thinking Ahead
For some, locuming is a way to top up their income or a short stop-gap between training or substantive posts. But you may see it as a longer-term career choice, as it’s a great way to enjoy more flexibility and freedom.
If you’re in it for the long-term, it’s important to think about your career progression and development whilst in locum jobs.
🎯 Career Progression as a Locum: A key part of long-term locum work is ensuring that you fuel your career progression. In this chapter we’ll discuss some helpful tips and advice to help you make sure your locum positions are still contributing to your long-term career.
👍 Portfolios and Appraisals for Locums: A guide for keeping a portfolio whilst locuming, and explaining how to prepare for your annual appraisal when that comes around.