Updated guidance on employing locum doctors has been released by NHS Employers.
Including an employers checklist of responsibilities as well as guidelines on hours and pay, the document is an update of June 2012’s original guide.
According to NHS Employers, the document is designed to safeguard the quality of patient care.
The major changes are around NHS employment checks standards, tax assurance of off-payroll workers, language competency and revalidation.
The document states that it is good practice for organisations using locums to know the identity of the locum’s responsible officer (RO) before hiring them.
The RO’s identity should be established during employment checks.
GP practices or other organisations hiring locum doctors are responsible for ensuring that appointees have the right level of communication skills for the role, according to NHS Employers.
The document states: “A doctor’s language ability may be self evident by way of an interview, or through evidence of previous periods of work in the UK.
“Where there are doubts about a doctor’s language ability further assessments may be made through the use of tests.”
However, the tests should not be undertaken on a systematic basis.
The full document is available to read on the NHS Employers website.