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Your Locum Toolkit

As a locum, you’re responsible for finding your own work, managing all your finances and keeping up with of all your learning and career development.

To help make all this easier, we've created this Locum Toolkit: a curation of the most useful resources, services, and tools that you’ll need as a locum.

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50+ resources recommended

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💰 Locum Rates

Learning what you can expect to earn as a locum helps you to create an accurate budget.

It's also important to know what the average rates are for your grade, specialty, and area, so you can ensure you're being paid fairly.

Here are some resources to help you gain a better idea of what you'll earn while working as a locum.

No. 1
Locum Doctor Salary Calculator

This is our free and easy way to calculate your potential gross earnings as a Locum Doctor. It's specific to your grade, specialty, and region, and is based on the data of over 40,000 real individual locum jobs.
👉  Locum Doctor Salary Calculator

no. 2
Useful Locum Rates Articles

Here are some of our most popular articles on Locum Pay from our Locum Doctor Hub. Where we feature articles on everything locum related.
👉  Locum Rates: What Can I Expect?  
Locum Rates in London
Tips to Increase Your Locum Pay
👉  SHO Locum Rates: Which Specialties Pay Best?

📈 Managing Your Locum Finances

Keeping track of your payslips, checking your tax codes, and making your you get tax rebates are all key tasks for locum doctors.

Here are the best tools to help you manage your locum finances.

No. 1
Tips For Managing Your Finances

Our article featuring some of our favourite tips to help you understand the National Insurance, Income Tax, and Pension aspect of your payslip. It will also give you advice on what expense you can claim back tax on, potentially saving you hundreds of pounds each year.
👉  Managing Your Finances as a Locum Doctor

No. 2

This is a great app if your trust uses NHS SBS. You’ll need to know your ESR or payroll number to register, but once you're set up you’ll have an electronic record of all your payslips in one place. It’s also worth noting that your locum agency won’t usually provide you with payslips, so this is a great way of making sure that your tax code, pay, and deductions are all correct.
👉  My SBS Pay

No. 3
Reclaiming On Your Tax

This tool from Medics Money helps you to to calculate how much of your tax you could reclaim from your professional expenses as a doctor. For most, this adds up a £100 - £200 per year.
👉  Tax Rebate Calculator

No. 4
Take Home Pay Calculator

This tools from Medics Money helps you to understand how much you'll earn with your net salary once you subtract all your tax, loan re-payments, cost of living, and any other expenses, so you know what your budget is each month.
👉  The Salary Calculator

no. 5
Cost Of Living Calculator

Numbeo is a great tool, especially if you're considering moving to a new city. It allows you to work out everything from rent and utility bills specific to a location, to the cost of bread, so that you can estimate your monthly outgoings.
👉  Numbeo

🔍 Finding Locum Work

Despite there being hundreds of Locum Agencies and Staff Banks out there. Finding regular locum work that meets your requirements is made difficult by the fact that you won't be able to view what jobs they actually have until you register with them.

This results in Locum Doctors not getting the type of work they want and leads to a combination of getting: less work, worse rates, longer travel times, and working outside of their chosen specialty.

To help with this, we've listed what we think are the most helpful tools and guides here to help you understand the process, and to make it easier to find locum work.

No. 1
Learn About Locum Agencies and Staff Banks

There are a few ways to find locum work, with the most common being through a Locum Agency or Staff Bank. Here's some information to help you understand the difference between the 2 and to get you started.
👉  Banks vs Agency
👉  A Step-By-Step Guide to Locuming Through Agencies
How To Get The Most From Agencies
The Key Registration Questions for Locum Doctors

No. 2
Our Free Locum Finding Service

Unlike traditional methods. Messly's free Locum Finding App gives you access to work from over 20 of the best locum agencies in the UK, all in one place. Our service has been trusted by 6,000 Locum Doctors this year and is rated 5 star on Trustpilot.
👉  Locum Finding Service
Why Messly is the Best Way to Find Locum Work

no. 3
Staff Banks

Doing locum work through your hospital's staff bank can be a great alternative to working through a locum agency, especially if you’re only looking to work local shifts on an ad-hoc basis. Here are two apps to help you book and manage your bank work.
👉  Locum's Nest: For Hospital Staff Banks
Patchwork: Another One For Hospital Staff Banks
👉  My Locum Manager: For GP Practice Banks

🏋️ Prep for Day 1

Your first day as a Locum Doctor, especially if you’re working in a new hospital or specialty is likely to be a mixture of excitement and nerves.

Here are a few guides to help make things easier.

No. 1
Tips for your first day and Specialty-Specific Guides

If you're going to be locuming in a new specialty for the first time, we’ve written some useful guides to help you prepare for your first shift in each one.    
Tips For Your First Day In New Hospital
👉  Obstetrics and Gynaecology    
General Medicine  
General Surgery    
Trauma and Orthopaedics    
Emergency Medicine

no. 2

This might seem a surprising one for many of you, but there are few things worse than than spending hours trying to park on your first day. Here are some great apps for finding parking spots:
👉  Parkopedia - Find Parking Spaces
👉  Your Parking Space - Rent out A Private Parking Spot
JustPark - Another Private Parking Space Rental App

🧠 Clinical Resources

Here's a selection of some of our favourite apps and calculators to help you boss through your clinical work as a Locum Doctor.

We've also include a couple of useful websites to improve your clinical knowledge.

No. 1

This is one of our personal favourites. It only takes a few minutes to set up, but once you have you'll have access to all the important bleeps and extension numbers that you'll need. It's also completely free.
👉  Induction

No. 2

Each Trust will have varying Antibiotic guidelines, which can make it difficult for Locum Doctors to get use to. That's where MicroGuide comes in handy. This useful app breaks down various pathologies by system and gives you Trust-Specific guidance for first line, second line and even Penicillin allergic prescribing.
👉  MicroGuide

No. 3

This app features risk stratification scores, medical equations, and even guidelines to help you manage your patients. Use it to work out scores such as GRACE, Wells, and PERC and see up to date guidance on management. It's especially useful for an A&E.
👉  MDCalc

No. 4
Mind The Bleep

Mind The Bleep was set up with the purpose to provide free  teaching and guidance for both Medical Students and Junior Doctors. Providing salient overviews over a multitude of medical and surgical conditions.
👉  Mind The Bleep

no. 5

Pulsenotes offers a free library of various medical topics in bullet pointed form. They also offer a cheap membership to gain access to their topic-specific question banks, video lectures and courses.
👉  Pulsenotes

💎 Portfolio

Keeping a portfolio as a Locum Doctor is essential for ensuring you have a successful year. Not only will it help you store all your DOPS, Mini-CEXs, Audits and CPD points that you will need for your annual appraisal and Revalidation (every 5 years).

It will also come in handy for specialty applications later down the line.

Here are some useful tools to help you find and store everything from paper feedback forms, to CPD events and courses.

Guidance on what information you need to collect can be found on the GMC's Good Medical Practice Framework For Appraisals and Revalidation.

No. 1
ePortfolio Services

If you continue to Locum at your previous hospital, you can usually arrange for them to extend your current portfolio system (i.e. eHorus). Alternatively, MedAll provides a free portfolio service to store all your collected evidence (Mini-CEX and CBD's), as well as a bulletin board to find medical courses and CPD events. eLogbook is another useful free ePortfolio aimed for budding surgeons.
👉  eLogbook

No. 2
Hard-Copy Portfolio Forms

If you're organised, sometimes keeping a hard-copy is easier. Rather than wait for your trainer to "respond" to an email to get your signature for a CBD, you can can get a signature there and then. Most of the Royal Colleges will have there own forms that you can use and store.
 ISCP - Offers free surgical based portfolio forms
JRCPT - Offers medical based portfolio forms
 Royal College Of Psychiatrist
Royal College Of Ophthalmologist
Feel free to Google other specialty specific work-based assessment forms

no. 3
Events, Courses and CPDs

These tools help you find CPD courses that support your professional development and career aspirations. Please note that Simply CPD and CPD Match tend to offer cheaper and/or free courses, whilst the BMJs version tends to find more expensive courses.
👉  Simply CPD
👉  CPD Match
👉  BMJ Course Finder

📝 Exam Preparation

Your F3 year and your time locuming present great opportunities to take exams. The main reason for this is the extra flexibility gives you more time to revise, as you’ll only need to work around two days per week to match your F2 salary.

Here are some of our favourites resources to use when preparing for your various exams.

No. 1
MCQ Question Banks

A list of the top MCQ banks covering multiple specialties, you can use these to prepare for the MSRA, MRCP, MRCS, and more.
👉  Pass Medicine    

No. 2
Oxford Clinical Handbook

You’ll find these contain all the information you'll need to know for each specialty at the SHO stage. You can find various version of this adapted to each specialty.
👉  Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine

No. 3
GP Notebook

With more specialties adopting the MSRA than not, the GP Notebook is a very useful, free resource that supports your MCQ exam preparation with succinct bullet-pointed clinical work-ups and management plans.
👉 The GP Notebook

no. 4
Exam Preparation Courses

We won't recommend any courses here as we don't think they're necessary, whilst being very expensive. However, if you feel like you’d benefit from one, you’ll find plenty of options for each specialty with a simple Google search.

🤝 Online Communities

Online communities are becoming increasingly helpful for valuable knowledge sharing and free peer-to-peer learning.

Here's a selection of some of the best communities for locum doctors.

We'd encourage you to get involved with the relevant groups, as they're great outlets for asking questions and finding support from like-minded peers. Of course, if you know of any others we've missed then please drop us a message with any recommendations

No. 1
Foundation Year 3 Doctors (Facebook)

A community page to ask questions and post interesting facts and tools about everything related to F3 Doctors. From time to time you'll also find us advertising some of our extremely unique F3 Jobs here (i.e. International, Cruise Ship, Aesthetic, Clinical Trials and Lifestyle Medicine roles have all been pasted in the last year).
Foundation Year 3 Doctors

No. 2
JuniorDoctorsUK (reddit)

One of the most active Junior Doctor forums out there. You'll find daily threads about general JD life, as well as about F3 and locum years. It's also great place to read funny incidents and the occasional rant.
👉  r/JuniorDoctorsUK

no. 3
International Medical Graduates (IMGs) in the UK

Working in a new country can be hard, especially when you're doing it alone. In this group you'll find a mix of doctors who are in the process of moving or have already settled in the UK for work. Feel free to ask questions, discuss any issues that you've faced, and share helpful tips in this supportive group.
👉  International Medical Graduates in the UK

📚 Further Reading

A collection of useful guides and articles to help support your journey as a Locum or F3 Doctor. Here you'll find advice on a range of  specific topics, such as:

🆕 Guidance for New Locums

🔎 Finding F3 and Locum Specific Roles

💰  Pay and Pensions

📜 Your Rights

📑 Appraisals and Revalidation

🥼 Career Progression

📺 YouTube Video Guides

No. 1
The Locum Doctor Hub

Whether you need help starting out as a locum, finding the best agencies, or tips for managing your finances, Messly's comprehensive Locum guides has you covered.
👉  Locum Doctor Hub

no. 2
The F3 Resource Hub

If you're considering an F3 year, you might want to check out our F3 Resource Hub, which features a range of helpful articles to help you understand what your options are and make the most of your year.
👉  F3 Resource Hub