Definition of contractor responsibilities
There are a number of basic responsibilities that may be outlined within the agreement:
- Provision of a personal computer, login username and password and, if appropriate, a brief training session on the system used.
- Induction folder and information including referrals, how to organise in-house and external investigations and practice policies (SEA reporting, repeat prescribing, appointment system, etc). A designated ‘locum pack’ may be provided on arrival.
- Access to computer and medical records outside of consulting time for audit purposes.
- The time period within which the fee for services should be paid (see the section on fees).
- Signature of pension forms A, including in England and Wales that the employer’s pension contribution has been paid (there is a separate box for this clearly shown on the new form).
- Supplying adequate and appropriate equipment and drugs.
- Prompt notification of any complaints.
- Notice period for cancellation of any sessions. Thought should be given as to whether a cancellation fee should be charged (see the section on fees and the section on termination of the agreement).
- Additional issues that may be referred to in the agreement include the possibility of attending practice clinical and educational meetings and being able to work in the same consulting room where working at a practice over a longer period.
Definition of locum responsibilities
A clear statement should be made by the locum that written original evidence of inclusion on a medical performers list and medical indemnity will be provided for the practice to make and keep a copy.
It should not be necessary for a locum to be asked to provide a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check (previously CRB check) each time they work at a different practice, as an enhanced criminal record certificate is a condition of inclusion on the performers list.
Regulations also state that a performer is required to supply an enhanced criminal record certificate if, at any time, ‘for reasonable cause’ this is requested. ‘Reasonable cause’ would not normally include merely the passage of time, but would be more likely to arise as a result of, for example, a complaint.
The locum’s registration with the GMC can be checked online, this is the best way for practices to make sure that registration is current.
Check a locum's GMC's registration
It must be made clear that the locum is undertaking the work in a self-employed capacity and undertakes to meet any national insurance contributions, income and any other taxes arising from the income. The locum will be expected to provide either an invoice for payment or a receipt.
For longer-term placements, the locum and contractor may wish to agree a notice period for taking leave.
In England and Wales, if pensioning their income, the locum should state that they will be passing on the employer’s pension contribution received from the practice to the NHS Commissioning Board (in England) or Local Health Board (Wales).