F1 doctors warned against locum posts

FOUNDATION year 1 doctors should not take up locum appointments for service posts, the General Medical Council has warned.

And F1s who want to take up a locum appointment for a training position should consult their medical school and foundation school.

The regulator has written to more than 1,600 locum agencies, medical staffing officers, human resources leads, training and education leads, postgraduate deans, and foundation school directors to emphasise that the provisional registration granted to F1 doctors does not permit them to work in service posts, whether substantive or locum.

Locum appointments for service posts do not provide training that would help junior doctors towards the completion of foundation year 1, the GMC added.

Rules regarding locum posts have been around 2007 but are not widely known, prompting the GMC to issue a reminder.

The GMC’s postgraduate board said: “Our main concern is to make sure that doctors starting out in their careers are properly supervised in posts that will enable them to gain the competencies in the foundation programme curriculum and meet the outcomes we have set for this period of training, so that patients receive safe, high quality care.”

In a report in BMJ Careers, deputy chairman of the BMA’s Junior Doctors committee Ben Molyneux said the guidance might prove frustrating for F1 doctors who have relied on locum posts for extra income but he agreed it was sound from an educational and patient safety point of view.