Candidate Tips
5 Common Misconceptions Around Hiring Medical Locums

 

 

When considering locums to help solve staffing needs, it’s normal to have a few questions about how the process works. Here we take a look at some of the top misconceptions around hiring locums that we run into from time to time when working with practices.

 

 

1.GP Locums are often less qualified that staff GPs.

 

This is certainly not the case. GP Locums meet all the same qualifications that staff GPs do. In fact a Locum’s varied experience often attracts some of the higher qualified GPs. Being a Locum is a great way to get extra hours and subsidise travel, without necessarily signing on for a long-term commitment within a given organisation. 

 

2. Hiring Locums is an HR headache. 

 

Modern Locums agency like ourselves take most of the hassle out of hiring new Locums. Bringing on a Locum GP is actually less onerous than hiring a full time staff member, especially when you consider the negotiations and benefits required for the latter. 

 

3. Locums will not be accepted by my current staff.

 

It’s the nature of modern medicine that there are staff rotations and shift work; there is always constant change. Hiring Locums works because GPs and Nurses are trained to be multidisciplinary, and team based. As long as the team they are working with is filled with competent individuals, they will know how to work alongside one another and provide excellent patient care. Personality conflicts can happen among any two people, but it’s certainly not true that Locums and existing staff will be inherently at odds with one another. 

 

4. Locums are never interested in a full-time position. 

 

While there is some truth that some Locums are simply looking for short-term work, there are  large number that are open to offers for long-term work. Healthcare administrators can sometimes use Locums as a job interview or ‘audition’. If it just so happens you get a rising GP superstar, make them an offer. You may be pleasantly surprised. 

 

5. Locums are less committed to patient care. 

 

This is such an unfortunate and incorrect thought, because it broadly mis-characterises medical Locums. GPs and Nurses who perform Locum work, usually seek exposure to different environments, different cultures, and different patient populations. For them it is as much about a learning experience as a chance to expand their practice and skills. Just like most other primary care practitioners, Locums want to help people and are extremely committed to patient care. 

 

 

If you want to learn about how Locums can help solve your staffing needs, speak to a medical Locums account manager today.

 
Making the most of Christmas as a Locum

 

 

There are many reasons why someone might choice locum work. It could be for the flexibility in hours and shifts and travel opportunities, extra money or for a more well-rounded experience. Whatever the reason for choosing locum work, you can be assured that the Christmas season brings with it even more opportunity for all of those things. 

 

Christmas is renowned for keeping the doctors surgeries busy, so any extra hands over this period are always welcome. 

 

Here are some great ways to making the most of the Christmas holidays as a locum: 

 

Pick up extra shifts 

 

Christmas is a time where it is traditional for many people to take their annual holidays. Some people may need to travel overseas to see family so have to take time off from work, and others may have young families at home that they’d like to spend some time with if possible. Some of these people are local GPs and nurses. It has been thought, anecdotally, that the reduction in GP numbers over the Christmas period is the reason why hospitals are busier. 

 

Either way, this all works in your favour as it means more shifts available to you. 

 

If you’d like to earn more money, the Christmas period is a way you can really boost the bank balance. Take on extra shifts being offered and save your holiday time for a different part of the year. By picking up extra shifts, you will not only be rewarded financially, but you will also gain a lot of experience. You will also get the chance to do some networking and work with some great colleagues, which can be beneficial down the line if you decide to go back and apply for permanent positions. 

 

Travel 

 

If spending Christmas at home with family isn’t your cup of tea, now is the perfect time to travel. Wherever you go, plan ahead by checking which surgeries are hiring and what kind of accommodation is available to you over this time. 

 

Getting away at Christmas can be nice for those who do not have any family to spend the holidays with. Joining a new work team will open up opportunities to meet other’s in the same situation as you, and you never know, you may end up with a group of like-minded people to spend Christmas Day with. 

 

Take a holiday

 

One of the great advantages of being a locum is the flexibility it offers. If taking a holiday over Christmas sounds appealing to you, it’s something you can absolutely do. 

 

Being a locum means you don’t have to worry about getting your holiday leave in early, or worry about scheduling holidays in around others. If you don’t want to work over Christmas or New Years, simply don’t put your name down for any shifts at that time. You can come back to work when you are ready. 

 

If you haven’t taken the step of going locum yet, but it is something that has been on your New Years Resolutions list for a while, perhaps these holidays are the right time of you to give it a try. Give us a call to chat through your options further.

 
How to write a goldfish-proof medical CV summary

 

 

Back in 2015 an article in The Telegraph revealed that the average human attention span has decreased from 12 seconds to 8 seconds in the past fifteen years. In contrast, goldfish are though to have an attention span of around 9 seconds. 

 

While there may be a range of explanations for this, you need to consider this when you’re applying for your next job as a GP, Practice Nurse or HCA. 

 

One of the keys to an excellent medical CV is a concise well-crafted summary at the start of the document. The reason it is so important is that it gives the recruiter or consultant assessing your application a quick snapshot of who you are, and where you’re going. Here at Agenda Locum Recruitment, we read over CVs quite quickly, as we look for keywords. As depressing as that seems, after you've spent hours on your CV, that is the reality of a competitive recruitment process. 

 

We get a lot of questions about what to put on your CV profile, and it’s actually pretty straightforward. Contrary to a somewhat popular belief, it’s not just a space for a career objective, although that is part of it. The conventions for CVs vary from country to country, but if you’re writing a medical CV for a UK employer this is a good guide. 

 

Think of your CV profile like the abstract of a journal article. You should pretty much just get the gist of the document just by reading that introductory paragraph. 

 

This should be the structure of your CV profile: 

 

  • State what your current position is, and how much experience you have had in that position
  • Provide a highlight of specific achievements, interests, projects, or research
  • Say what makes you different to other candidates
  • Give an explanation of what your career objective is
  • A statement about your values and how that aligns with your career

 

I have been completing advanced anaesthetics training since 2013 as part of the North Hills Network. I have a special interest in paediatrics, and recently completed a research project on XYZ, and was the recipient of the Smith Prize for excellence. I recently completed a volunteer fellowship in neonatal anaesthetics in Canada, which gave me a unique level of experience in the field. It is my intention to specialise in paediatric anaesthetics, with a particular emphasis on XYZ cases. I am passionate about accessible healthcare, and I am committed to spending a significant amount of my time in public cases.

 

It’s important that you don’t just make it a superlative soup. The reader wants to know genuine information about you in order to make a quick judgement on how to proceed with your application. And, remember, it is a summary, so keep it brief.

 

Having an attention-grabbing CV profile is one way of making sure your CV goes to the top of the pile for your next job application. If you don’t have a profile on your CV, now is the time to get started! 

 

Keep in mind that it should evolve with you and your career, and may even change from application to application.

 

If you need more assistance with your CV, and your career in general, get in touch with one of our expert medical locum recruiters.

 
6 Reasons why you should consider locum work

 

 

 

Flexibility and work life balance 

One of the biggest advantages of locum work for most locum doctors is the control over your working life. This can be especially useful if you’re just returning to work from maternity leave, or you enjoy dedicating your time to other interesting, non-clinical pursuits.

 

Try before you buy 

Locum work can give you the chance to try out different specialties before you commit to a role full time. Use this opportunity to experience as much as possible before deciding on one specialty. 

 

Competitive pay rates

Locum doctors offer a specialist service and this should be reflected in the rates you receive for your work - especially if you’re willing to pick up extra shifts at the weekend or in the evenings.

 

More choice of work 

Rather than joining a number of different banks and having to complete lengthy registration checks each time, with a locum agency you can gain access to all these jobs in one place, including overseas locations such as Australia.

 

One dedicated point of contact 

At Agenda Locum Recruitment, you’ll be assigned a dedicated recruitment consultant with in-depth knowledge of your requirements and availability. No need to go searching for that perfect position, your recruitment consultant will pro-actively look for jobs that suit you and present you with appropriate opportunities.This also means you have one point of contact for all queries.

 

Keep up to date with new legislation 

It's our job to inform and advise where possible on new government legislation and framework directives, which means you can stay ahead of the curve with minimal effort. We are extremely proud of our compliance team, and they do a great job to keep you in the loop.

 
The Importance of looking after your own health and well-being

 

Doctor Well-being

 

Working in the health sector can be a super tough gig. 

 

Doctors and nurses know very well that there are particular challenges and stresses unique to the business of keeping humans healthy. The Doctor’s Support Network, a website that caters for the health needs of medical professionals and students, reports that doctors are MORE likely than non doctors to have a mental health problem. These include: 

 

Stress

Burnout

Anxiety

Depression

Bipolar Disorder

Psychoses 

Eating Disorders

 

These stresses in turn place pressures on relationships, family life and life balance. Medical professionals clearly experience similar tensions, worries and obstacles as other professionals, and yet, despite working in the area of healthcare, they are less likely to feel supported and encouraged in looking after their own health. 

 

A survey by Cardiff University, which consulted almost 2,000 British doctors at various stages of their careers, 60% had experienced mental illness (the figure is 82% among doctors working in England). What’s more, most of those struggling had not sought help. It is obvious with regard to doctors’ health, both physical and mental, that support is needed and a change in workplace culture is necessary. 

 

So what can doctors and medical professionals do to improve and prioritise their personal health?

 

Helpful suggestions include the importance for medical professionals to have their own independent GP. Establishing a relationship with another trusted doctor ensures the delivery of evidence-based preventative care. Within this space a documented history can be created and the opportunity for health promotion discussions becomes available. Too often doctors rely on ad-hoc ‘corridor consultations’ with colleagues, which is not a practise that can adequately address serious health concerns. Having an independent GP often facilitates access to the healthcare system that many doctors (as patients) describe as being difficult.

 

To overcome some of the difficulties doctors face in accessing healthcare the BMA have developed advisory services providing information and links to resources for medical professionals throughout the UK. Other services including the Doctors’ Support Network and This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  are dedicated to improving the health of doctors, medical students and primary care professionals. 

 

If you are suffer from any of the health problems itemised in the bullet-point list above, or know of someone who is, then these resources are well worth checking out. For those looking to improve the health of their own practice or workplace, encourage your colleagues to seek out and regularly check in with their own independent GP. Value the notion of doctors taking care of their own health. Model this behaviour yourself, particularly if you are in contact with junior doctors. A simple sentence like, “Sorry I’m late, I’ve just been to the doctor.” can go a long way to changing the culture and attitudes of a practice.

 

Medicine is a tough gig, and we need to take care of one another.

 

If you wish to discuss you current locum placement or further locum opportunities, know that Agenda Medical Recruitment is always keen to support you.

 
The GP Life in Australia



Australia offers fantastic opportunities for GPs wanting to work and live there. With greater clinical freedom and a higher potential earnings than in the UK, as well as a better work life balance, we can certainly see the benefits.
 
Here at Agenda Medical Locums, we recently secured a contract to find high calibre GPs for a number of surgeries on the West Coast of Australia. So what are the benefits of practising down under? And what do GPs need to know before they decide to make the move?
 
Similar practice 
 
In terms of clinical work, there really isn't much difference to the UK. The types of cases are similar, and there’s more clinical freedom with regards to prescribing and making referrals. You’ll see your paperwork decrease; there’s significantly less in comparison with the UK. And the workload is much less intense. A standard day is usually 8 hours seeing about 40-50 patients per day. 
 
Sounding good yet?…
 
General Practice Funding 
 
One major difference - doctors charge patients a fee. Australia’s healthcare system, Medicare, offers Australian citizens and permanent residents rebates for services provided to them by healthcare professionals with a Medicare provider number. GPs can directly charge Medicare on behalf of patients, and this known as bulk billing. Most GPs offer mixed billing, where some may be bulk billed and others privately billed. All the practices we work with in Australia are bulk billing at 70%.
 
After hours and weekends aren’t mandatory but one thing to bear in mind is that the volume of patients seen will heavily influence earning potential. On the west coast, GPs can expect to make about $2000 per day after about 3 months on a regular basis.
 
The surgeries we have positions for can allow a GP to work on a 2 month basis. And they will offer up to $300 a week towards accommodation, making something like the below affordable. 

 
Still interested?
 
Let us help you find the right practice for you and navigate the paperwork. 

Please give Lewis a call on 01992 507863 or drop him an This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 
’Ten top tips’ for Revalidation
2012/11/02

1.Appraisers ‘appraise’, Responsible Officers ‘recommend’ and the GMC ‘revalidate’. This statement makes it clear that your appraiser will not be deciding whether you are to be recommended for revalidation.

2.Year 0 (April 2012/March 2013) – Responsible Officers will be revalidated

Year 1 (April 2012/March 2014) – 20% of doctors (mostly GP leaders, educators and management)

Year 2 (April 2014/March 2015) – further 40% of doctors

Year 3 (April 2015/March 2016) – the remaining 40% doctors

You will have at least 3 months’ notice of your revalidation date

3.Appraisers will be making an assessment of your engagement overall, your pre-appraisal documentation and supporting information, your progress year on year (against PDPs) and your progress towards the GMC’s revalidation requirements.

4.Doctors will be appraised on the whole scope of their practice. If you need medical qualification to do it, you need to provide evidence about it in your appraisal.

5.Evidence you provide will be matched to the four domains of ‘Good Medical Practice’.

1)Knowledge, skills and performance

2)Safety and quality

3)Communication, partnership and teamwork

4)Maintaining trust

6.The use of an online toolkit (e.g. The MAG Model Appraisal form, the New Clarity Appraisal Toolkit or The RCGP Toolkit) is the preferred method of presenting your appraisal portfolio. There are many advantages for you (the doctor), your appraiser, the Responsible Officer and your local area (appraisal) team.

7.Support information may be defined by three levels.

Level 1 - That required by the GMC as the minimum for revalidation and will indicate your fitness to practice.

Level 2 – That required by your employing organisation or specialist body (e.g. RCGP) and will indicate your fitness for purpose.

Level 3 – That defined by yourself to include your professional development and personal aspirations.

8.Doctors will have to sign off statements about significant events, complaints, probity, health, the appraisal portfolio and GMC requirements. There are five declarations for the appraiser and doctor to sign at the end of the appraisal.

9.There are 28 days from the appraisal interview to complete and sign off all documentation. This timescale is not negotiable and your Responsible Officer might conclude that you have not engaged with revalidation and inform the GMC.

10.The Responsible Officer will assess your appraisal outputs along with the clinical governance information and any other data held about you. They have only 3 options:-

1)Positive recommendation

2)Request a deferral

3)Notify the GMC of failure to engage

 


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