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  • Writer's pictureDeniz Eroglu

Locum Jobs: Who can work as a locum and what is needed for it?


Hi everyone! I am Uma, an IMG from India and I am currently working as a Clinical Fellow in Medicine at North Bristol Trust. I am writing to give you all some insight into locum shifts/ jobs.

What does ‘locum’ mean?

So, whenever there’s a gap on the Rota/ Roster, the Trust would want someone to cover the gap, this could be any type of shift, and the extra person covering the shift will be called a locum doctor.

How do I get to know about the locum shifts available in my hospital?

Every hospital has different ways of advertising the available shifts. Sometimes you might have a Roster app and you can see available shifts on it and book them. In other places, the rota-coordinator might send out some emails and you can pick up shifts by responding to them. If you are keen, then you can directly get in touch with the rota coordinators.

Why should I do locums?

If you have some free time and of course, want some extra money, then doing locums is not a bad idea. Usually, the locum rates are higher than your usual pay rates however it varies accordingly in different Trusts.

Locum work as an IMG doctor

You can opt to work as a locum in your Trust, usually, a form is provided when you join a new Trust mentioning the details of whether you’re interested in doing locum shifts if necessary. Be careful that you aren’t overworking and not exceeding the agreed working hours mentioned in your contract. If you plan to work as a locum in a different Trust, you will be known as an external locum. The paperwork is different so make sure you sought everything out before you start to work. As this will be considered your second job, the restrictions are that you cannot work beyond 20 hours a week in your second job.

Work visa for locum job

As an IMG, you can’t get a work visa solely based on a locum post as a first job. However, if you have an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) status or are on a dependent/ spouse visa, then you can get a work permit for a locum post.

Things to look out for before doing locum shifts

Locum shifts can be quite busy and not very well supported. So, make sure, you are taking up shifts in a familiar environment and in a department with prior experience. Ask for a shadowing period if you’re planning to work in a new Trust. Get acquainted with the local guidelines and the IT system. Also, get in touch with payroll before working on the shift to check if you’re on their system. Please think twice before taking up a locum post as your first job as it is not advisable.

Need more help and tips?

Trewlink is an amazing platform for IMGs, do check out the webpage. If you have any questions about building your portfolio, I would be happy to answer them at trewlink.com. You can register using this link< https://trewlink.com?referrer=uma720930  >. Find me as a Community Expert and Follow my profile - Uma Ranjani - to receive regular support and advice.

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