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Considering becoming a locum

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  • Considering becoming a locum

    Hello everybody

    I am currently working as a relief pharmacist but have been thinking whether being a locum could be a better option for me.
    I have a lot of questions regarding locuming as this topic is new to me.
    1) I do not drive. Therefore, is locuming even an option for me. Right now I get to work on public transport which is fine. If I was a locum I believe I could work in so many pharmacies that are outside my current area I am contracted to.
    2) Which agency to choose? Any advice?
    3) Are locums needed in Bristol, Bath, Wiltshire area?
    4) What's the minimum hourly pay?
    5)Any advice on how to get an accountant?
    6)Will it decrease my chances of getting bookings if I only know how to use one computer system?

    Thank you in advance.

  • #2
    That’s lot of questions but basically the number one thing you need to do is learn to drive.
    Lively debate is encouraged but please respect the opinions and feelings of others.
    Please help keep the forum vibrant by spreading the work to friends and colleagues via word of mouth or social media.
    Thank you for contributing to this site.


    • #3
      Hourly rate is what you negotiate - bear in mind that you will be expected to do MUR, NMS and Flu Vaccines. You will need the necessary accreds.
      If you go for anything less than £20 per hour - you are being used. £18 plus a fee per MUR and a fee for each Vaccine would be an incentive.
      You are responsible for your own tax, NI etc. You need to put something away to cover this - very important.
      Keep receipts - your transport costs are a business expense, part of your phone, laptop.
      If you get a car there are allowances for running costs etc.
      You need an accountant - a locum is fairly straightforward - and also the accountant fees are a business expense that gets an allowance.
      You also must be in the PDA - liability insurance and also protection in case of a dispute.
      Watch out for some of the pharmacies (sometimes they get a mention on here) that are to put it politely - very slow in paying locums.
      Best to see if the standard NPA contract is available and add a payment clause that says 28 days.
      Computer systems : get in touch with the suppliers and see if they offer any training or ask for a copy of the helpfile.

      Finally, be a locum who gets in there and gets the job done.
      Look for loose ends in the dispensary to complete.
      If you have to leave something - write a note - then tell someone you have left a note!
      Have a good rapport with staff and customers.
      If you are friendly and approachable you will get return bookings.
      Don't spend all your time with phone in hand.- this is bad form in the pharmacy.
      47 BC : Julius Cesar : Veni Vidi Vici : I came, I saw I conquered.
      2018 AD : Modern Man : I shopped, I clicked, I collected.
      How times change.

      If you find you have read something that has upset or offended you an anyway please unread it at once.


      • #4
        My first locums were done by push bike. I then got a 125 cc BSA motor bike and then a Lmabretta.


        • #5
          Sign up to every locum agency you can... at worst all you'll get is a load of emails on a daily basis and you'll be able to figure out which ones apply to you. It also gives you an idea of how much work there is out there too.
          But I would learn how to drive first.


          • #6
            Im in the same boat as you right now, I am stepping out of reliefing at a large multiple we all know, and into part time GP surgery work and part time locum work. Its been a good while since I've done locum work, around 7 years, but as the guys have said above I've signed up to all the agencies I could think of to get the ball rolling, soo much paperwork! I've also consulted a couple of accountants and a company isnt the best way for locuming these days, unless you're going to be earning over £40k as a locum, plus theres some issues around IR35 that are going on in the background so I'm looking not to go via a company this time.