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If I want a stint as a GP locum what factors do I consider?

This is a common way to gain more experience, explore a variety of different practices and ways of working. You could become an employed locum, self-employed or a mixture of both. If you work for one or two practices on a regular basis you will have all the benefits of being employed, including sickness and maternity pay.

Income tax, superannuation and national insurance will be deducted by the employing practice(s), involving less financial complications and risk, but there's lower pay and less variety.

Keep a careful record of your medical expenses including car and telephone use, instruments and educational courses. Have a lump sum available to cover short periods of illness.

Even though locum work is eligible for the NHS superannuation scheme, it is important to take out permanent health, critical illness and life insurance.

You must maintain medical defence subscriptions and ensure your continuing medical education, keeping up with all the elements required for revalidation. Contact the regional postgraduate dean for advice. Also join a locum group. You must register as a locum with a PCO to be able to practise.

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