Legal Requirement

When you begin working for United Medicare locum agency, there are strict terms and conditions of which you must be aware and adhere to.

Taxation and National Insurance

United Medicare is obliged, by law, to deduct National Insurance and Income Tax from all payments made to you. Some overseas doctors may be entitled to claim back some or all of the tax paid while working in the UK. We can make arrangements for doctors that are using UK limited companies, and self-employed doctors are welcome.

Meeting the NHS Management Executive’s Code of Practice

We fully support the Code of Practice, which has been endorsed by the Audit Commission in its report into the use of locum doctors in the NHS in England and by the Accounts Commission following a similar report in Scotland. We must ensure that you comply with the latest requirements. We do this by ensuring that we receive all the correct documentation with your registration form and checking this before putting you forward for work.

Health Screening

You are required to have a regular pre-employment health assessment and an up-to-date certificate of immunisation from an Occupational Health Department to ensure you comply with requirements on hepatitis B immunisation. Some hospitals also request hepatitis C status too.

This is why we require from you, a completed health questionnaire that is included in your application pack. The assessment of this questionnaire is at no cost to you; unless the information disclosed means we require a doctor’s report, face-to-face consultation or any other investigation. If we do need any of these, there may be a charge that you will be required to pay. We will not start any investigations before we have told you about them if they are going to have to be paid for by you.

Hepatitis B

For every locum booking, a satisfactory hepatitis B certificate is essential. This is mainly due to exposure prone procedures where there is a risk that an injury may result from the patients’ blood. This is especially the case where the worker’s gloved hands may be in contact with sharp instruments including needle tips.

You will need to provide evidence that you are immune to hepatitis B and are not currently infected when completing our health questionnaire. Immunity is indicated by a hepatitis B surface antibody test (HepBs Ag) showing a titre of >100mlU/ml. Absence of infection is indicated by a hepatitis B core antigen test (HepBc Ag) that is negative. These reports should not be more than five years old and should ideally be provided by a UK Occupational Health Department.

Certificate of ionising radiation

Doctors required to administer radiation must be in the possession of the Certificate of ionising Radiation (The Popumet Certificate). This is granted on the successful attendance of a radiation protection course. The specialities included in this requirement are accident and emergency, anaesthetics, general medicine, orthopaedic surgery and general surgery. House officers are excluded from this requirement.

Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions order 1975)

The rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 permits persons in certain circumstances to ignore offences committed in the past when asked to give details of previous convictions. These convictions are known as ‘spent convictions’. However the Exceptions Order 1975 states that medical doctors are not permitted to withhold details of any offences for which they have been convicted, however long ago these convictions may have been served.

Police Checks

If you are to work in areas where you are likely to have substantial access to children and other vulnerable groups, then hospitals will ask us to provide evidence of a police check. If you have had a police check taken previously, you should have been provided with a statement stating that it was clear. Please let us have a copy of this statement when you register. Some hospitals are requesting a police check for all doctors.

Please note that as the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) police check can take up to six weeks, we will need plenty of notice of when you are available.

Your right to work in the UK

We need a copy of the P45 or payslip which would reveal your National Insurance number and we need a clear legible copy of your passport. We will need the copy of the passport page showing any stamps relating to your right to work in the UK. Doctors that are working on a Work Permit or Permit Free Training should also indicate the expiry dates.

It is a criminal offence to work in the UK without consent of HM Immigration and Nationality Department.

New Deal on Junior Doctors’ hours

As required by the NHS Code of Practice, doctors must confirm that they will not breach the controls on hours set out in the New Deal on Junior Doctors’ hours. The maximum number of hours permitted to be worked is a combination of both substantive and locum work undertaken.


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