Ssc Blog 800x460px Locum Work

​Enjoy the flexibility of a contract healthcare job

By Daniel Allard

Anyone who has chosen a career in healthcare, will have many of the same aspirations and duty of care. But it can be hugely rewarding and demanding in equal measure. For many of our candidates, working as a locum provides just the right balance between meeting your career aspirations and having a healthy work-life balance.

Plenty of scope

In most practice areas, there are plenty of well-paid locum opportunities for suitably qualified and registered healthcare professionals.

With demand being so high, it is a great time to consider becoming a locum healthcare professional. If you are thinking of making the move, you’ll want to know more about how the process works and what your options are.

Getting started

Making the decision to go locum is the hardest part. The rest involves following a few basic procedures to make sure you are employable as a locum.

Firstly, you need to make sure your finances are in order. You’ll need to register with HMRC to inform them that you will be reporting your income directly to them. Many choose to work as a limited company.

Creating a limited company is a straightforward process and usually takes no longer than an hour online . You simply contact Companies House to let them know your intentions and provide some basic information to register. You will be responsible for keeping existing records up-to-date and filling the relevant documentation.

You might also decide to work through an umbrella company or agency, who take care of the vast majority of administration for you. Usually you complete timesheets and they will invoice the end-client (employer) on your behalf and make the necessary deductions before paying you. In this instance, always look for an organisation that abides by IR35 rules .

Finding work

If you’re making the jump from a permanent position to locum work, you’ll want to be sure working for yourself doesn’t jeopardise your job security.

There are several things you can proactively do to feel assured from the start. Firstly, and most importantly, register yourself with a recruitment agency that has plenty of roles in your specialist area of healthcare.

Look for an agency that is on framework to supply health professionals within your specialised area of practice. You can be confident they adhere to very strict rules to supply to the NHS. It’s also a good indicator that they have the best interests of you and your employer at heart.

As a on framework agency ourselves, Sanctuary Health, concentrates on meeting the integrated needs of hundreds of healthcare organisations in the UK.

Take a close look at how your chosen agency supports candidates. You are more than a number. An agency that looks after its locum healthcare professionals will find you highly suitable roles, guide you through the interview process and check in on you once in post. They’ll also be proactive in identifying future roles as your contract nears it end. You should never feel out of place.

The benefits of working as a locum

Rates of pay depend on several factors; not least of all your grade, training and experience, but they are usually very attractive compared to permanent employment.

Although greater earning potential is a significant pull-factor, there are plenty of other benefits too. If you want to experience working in different departments to broaden your career prospects, contract work is ideal. It also gives you more flexibility. You can choose the contracts that suit you best. This enables you to better balance family and social commitments.

You can improve your CV with a more varied work profile. You can choose to work either in the public or private sector. And if you are fairly early on in your career, it’s a great way to test the waters and decide which direction you want to take your career.

If you want to explore international opportunities, you can also do this on a contract basis. Some agencies, including Sanctuary Health, place qualified staff in international positions. So, if you want to find out what it is like to work in other English-speaking countries, you can.

A long-term option

For many healthcare professionals who enjoy the flexibility of locum work, they never look back. They choose to continue to work in roles that interest them and keep them motivated. They enjoy the freedom. At Sanctuary Health, for example, we have a he number of candidates entering their double-digit years as locum workers.

How Sanctuary Health helps

If you are thinking about leaving permanent employment to become a locum healthcare professional, we can help take the guess work out of your decision to leave.

The first step is always to register with us and a dedicated healthcare consultant working within you specialised discipline will be in contact to talk about your prospects. We always aim to present you with opportunities based on your exact criteria.

Interested in finding out how Sanctuary can find you a locum healthcare job? Register today.