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Locum Doctor

If you are a regular at your local surgery chances are that you've had to see a 'locum' doctor. Locum doctors are temporary 'stand in' doctors that fill in at surgeries when regular doctors are away. They are an important part of the NHS workforce as without them surgeries would fail to function normally.

A locum doctor is fully qualified to deal with you in the same way that your regular doctor is. Before a surgery employs the services of a locum doctor they will scrutinise their background and validate the locum doctor's qualifications. To be accepted a locum doctor must have completed a medical degree and have at least 3 years practice experience. Additionally, all locum doctors must have certification from the Joint Committee on Postgraduate Training for General Practice to be eligible to work at a local surgery.

In the past locum doctors have received some bad press. This is down to a few isolated incidents where practices have been less than rigorous in their checks of locum doctors. The vast majority of locum doctors are good doctors who will move about from surgery to surgery to fill the gaps.

For more information on locum doctors please review the resources on our site.


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