Locums seeking work from abroad: Get your ‘competence passport’

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As more and more locums are coming into the marketplace from outside the UK there has been growing concern about language and competency skills of locums. If you are a locum seeking work from abroad, it is important to give your employers confidence in your qualifications.

It is a good time for locums who are seeking work from outside the UK. Since the European Working Time directive (more here) was implemented, the demand for locum doctors has very much increased, and this has resulted in locums from abroad finding it easier to find work.

However, this trend has not necessarily been well received by employers of locums, Trusts and practices. Qualifications can often be difficult to assess if obtained outside of the EU and language competency is not always assessed, even for doctors coming from within the EU. John Baxter from LSN -  an organisation that has been working extensively to develop an online solution for the assessment of locum competence,  tells us:

‘It is sometimes assumed that the PLAB language assessment has been completed by all locums, but this is not always enough to guarantee relevant competence’.

Checking up on qualifications has caused a lot of additional administration time for employers and also generated nervousness when engaging the locums.

The Ubaini case, where a German doctor was struck off for administering 10 x the recommended dose of painkillers and subsequently killing the patient, caused a media frenzy and heightened this issue.

‘We are seeing that it is ever important for locums coming from abroad to provide additional evidence of professional skills and experience as well as overall suitability to practise in the UK’ Says John Baxter. ‘Many Trusts and practices are stipulating that locums take additional courses to prove that they are up to date in the form of language assessments or competence screening or cultural awareness. These are very important issues in health and can lead to disastrous consequences if they are not done.’  

In our previous blog, we advised locums how to market themselves (read here) and this is another way for you to do that. It seems that if you are a locum from abroad, wanting to work in the UK, you could give employers additional confidence and reducing the administrative burden by taking such courses.

We are also seeing the use of mobile technology among locums as well. Edgehill University have developed course training content which can be downloaded in app form and completed on your mobile phone. Once completed, the doctor will get the associated CPD credits. We think this is perfect for locums on the move, and a great way to keep up to date.

If you have any questions about the blog or to offer to contribute please contact Melissa - melissa.morris@lantum.com

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Our easy-to-use tools empower healthcare organisations to fill their shifts and professionals to fill their diaries, without the need for agencies. And they dramatically reduce time spent on rostering admin, compliance, and invoice chasing.

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