How to look after your Locum

Being a locum can be difficult. Every hospital is different, right from how to get in, through to where to park and how to get help in an emergency. We ask you to consider the following questions when inviting a locum into your practice or hospital.


Accommodation is important. It is the first impression that the locum will have of you and your hospital. If you wish to make your locum welcome, then start by making sure that the accommodation is organised, comfortable, warm (or cool) and clean.


Paperwork is a pain, but it is helpful for the locum to know what documents they will require in advance. Every hospital is different!


Promises such as a vehicle, hours or work, rate pf pay, rosters etc. are best stated in writing before the locum commences to avoid any confusion or dissappointment.


An orientation that takes in the following:

  • Key Personnel relevant to the area of practice
  • Hospital Access, including out-of-hours access
  • Pass codes, swipe cards etc. for internal hospital access
  • Parking advice, passes etc.
  • Routine and emergency phone numbers relevant to the area of practice
  • Emergency routines or codes

All should be backed by written information.

Computer Access

Computer access is essential for any locum coming to work for more than a couple of days at a hospital. Written advice with codes and abbreviated training in any local systems is desirable.

Other helpful things

The following is also very helpful:

  • A formal handover from the doctor before they leave the hospital or by phone if necessary. Please refer to the ROALS Clinical Handover Guidelines.
  • A weekly timetable of activities for the locum.
  • A key and access to the relevant office.
  • A written directory of how to find things in the office.
  • A dictaphone and access to a medical receptionist for typing, for optimal communication and good medical records.

Support Staff

Support staff (i.e. Receptionists, Clinic RN, typists and other medical practitioners) should not be scheduled for leave if you are going to get value for money from your locum.


Locums are not super human and cannot solve all the problems eg. back lists for surgery, outpatients, incomplete records etc.

Don't overload your locum on the first day. In the first few days a locum is often working full time just finding his or her way around your system. To you it is simple, but for locums it is all new, a bit unnerving and somteimes quite stressful.

Final words.....

Finally, it is important to keep in mind that it is often hard for a locum coming into a new practice. Saying thank you to your locum for their work can go a long way.

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