Use this section to find out...

  1. What is locum work

  2. Who may be suited

  3. How to get involved

The West Midlands Workforce Deanery is not responsible for the companies mentioned in this section. These pages should be used to identify your options but it is up to you to evaluate the terms and conditions and the companies themselves.


1. What is locum work

 There are different titles of locum work:

“A locum is a suitably qualified doctor with adequate GMC registration, who will fill a post on a temporary basis for a period of anything from a few hours to three months or a year. Locum work arises from vacancies caused by holidays, illness, unfilled posts etc.”

  • Locum work – short term periods (1 day to a few weeks), more pay but less security
  • Substantiative posts – usually for a period of at least 6 months, you are employed directly by the client
  • Locum Appointments for Training (LAT) – locum work through which the individual can also receive training, competitively appointed using national person specification
  • Locum Appointments for Service (LAS) – locum required for providing service only

Further information on LAT and LAS can be found in “The Gold Guide” – A guide to postgraduate specialty training in the UK published June 2009. Available from MMC.

You will often be self-employed as a locum – thus YOU are responsible for arranging tax payments

Payments are often weekly


2. Who may be suited to Locum work?

Desirable qualities for doctors undertaking locum work are:

  • Have been working in specialty for at least 6 months
  • Flexible regarding location
  • Flexibility regarding working times
  • Financially able to manage with unpredictable work load

Take a look at this article to see if you can fulfil the tips for locums. Blythe J. Top ten tips for a novice. BMJ Careers. 2007; 334: 244.


3. How to become a Locum

Investigate and contact different providers of locum work. Some are specialty specific, others may have more desirable terms and conditions. Investigate the companies well, seek advice from colleagues and make sure the company you choose meets your requirements.

Most Hospital/Foundation Trusts employ locums – details can be found on individual Trust websites.