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Why I hate locum agencies

As a locum there are many ways to build up work; word of mouth, a colleagues’ recommendation, sending out CV’s and, of course, using locum agencies. I hate locum agencies.

As a locum there are many ways to build up work; word of mouth, a colleagues' recommendation, sending out CV's and, of course, using locum agencies. I hate locum agencies.

Yes, they are very good at informing me of available sessions, but the ceaseless beeping of my mobile at all hours of the day, alerting me to a probably already filled session, drives me to distraction.

And there is nothing more annoying than the early morning text. I had scheduled a morning off last week, after doing quite a bit of out of hours work, and was looking forward to a wee lie in. When the first text went off at 8am, I ignored it. When a second text woke my wife up as well I got a bit annoyed but went back to sleep. But when it kept beeping every 5 minutes until 9 o'clock I finally lost it and threw my phone across the room, smashing it off the wardrobe.

By this point my lie in was ruined, so I got up and fixed my phone. When I turned it on another 5 texts came through instantaneously. I sighed. Most messages were suggesting sessions for this afternoon. I had nothing planned and so I thought why not, and answered a few of them.

I must still have been half asleep, because I made the decision to phone the first few practices that had texted me. This was an amateur mistake as an hour had passed since the texts arrived and when I phoned, predictably, the sessions had been taken. But I persevered, and this time contacted the practices that texted more recently, only to be informed that they too had filled the sessions.


I had missed out on my lie in and had nothing to show for it. Despite my initial plans of having a lazy day I was fairly pissed off, agitated, and now determined to get to some work. "BEEP BEEP" Another text arrived, so I immediately replied, not even taking the time to check where it was for.

"Sorry, the sessions been filled."

She never got to say "Thanks for phoning though" before my poor phone was again dashed against the bedroom furniture.

In the 8 months of being a locum, I have not managed to procure one shift from the locum agencies I signed up to. I can only presume there are thousands of fellow locums, waiting by the phone, ready to pounce as soon a text comes through. But I have given up on all that. Instead I have unsubscribed from all locum agencies, meaning I can now look forward to a text free lie in and an intact mobile phone.

The Blog of Dr John Doe. He hates locum agencies. Recent posts

My name is Dr John Doe and I'm a locum GP January 28

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