Locum chambers toolkit

Benefits and disadvantages of working in chambers

Location: UK
Audience: GPs
Updated: Friday 3 July 2020
Topics: Sessional, salaried, locum GP contracts

Benefits of working in chambers

  1. Help with the administrative side such as bookings, (which is all done through a chambers managers which accesses individual member’s diaries), invoicing, completing superannuation forms and chasing payments.
  2. The chambers manager will ensure the engaging practice provide adequate induction and will deal with any issues of practices expecting additional unremunerated work over and above the agreed fee schedule.
  3. A set fee structure reduces the needs for negotiation over workload and fees and removes the stress of being pressurized to do more work than you can manage or have agreed.
  4. Provision of professional support though chambers educational and SEA meetings.
  5. Assistance from chambers manager in obtaining evidence for appraisal and revalidation (feedback, surveys and audits).
  6. Being seen as part of an organisation with an established reputation. Chambers recruit and interview new members which helps to set professionals standards.
  7. If you need to cancel due to an emergency, the chambers may often be able to arrange a substitution at short notice.
  8. You can still superannuate your locum income, as long as payments are still made directly to locums.
  9. Members can still choose not to work in certain practices.
  10.  Some medical indemnity providers may offer a discounted rate to locums working as part of chambers (compared to those working freelance).

 

Disadvantages of working in chambers

  1. Members of chambers usually pay a set percentage of their income to the chambers (this can vary according to the chambers’ organisation, whether it is newly established or if the Locum GP may also carry out a lead role in the chambers).
  2. Setting up chambers requires time and energy by the founding members, unless they are set up as a satellite to an existing set of chambers.
  3. Members usually work to the same fee schedule (set number of patients for a set fee) so individuals who don’t like the set schedule may find this constricting.
  4. As a legal entity there may be legal challenges ahead (for example, it is unclear whether to operate as a “single undertaking” all individuals would have to be jointly liable for each other’s tax).
  5. Many chambers insist on exclusivity of locums, therefore restricting the ability to work outside the chambers. It is important to check the policy with the chambers before joining.