Locum Doctor Grades
Locum doctor grades refer to a job level grading associated with the training level, expertise, and general experience in the field of practice required from the physician or locum doctor. Anyone who wants to practice clinical medicine in the UK must be registered with the General Medical Council, known in short as the GMC. Apart from the registration doctors whishing to act as locum tenens must also be licensed to practice according to the set medical professional and locum doctor grades. The above mentioned regulations pertain to locums working in the NHS and the private practice sector.
Foundation Year I & II fall under Training Grade
Known previously as the house officer and the senior house officer respectively the foundation house officer operates in hospital and GP environments. It is a newly qualified graduate that needs to complete a two-year training course to gain the required skills and experience to become a doctor. The doctor is registered with the GMC after completion of Foundation Year I. After completion of Foundation Year II, the doctor can specialise in a specific area or become a GP.
Staff Grade also known as the Trust Grade
The staff grade doctor is a medical professional appointed at a middle grade physician level in the UK. The doctor can be appointed on the middle grade level without having to pass post graduate examinations. The appointment can be based on experience. The doctor can get a promotion to Associate Specialist level and then also apply for Specialist Registrar training where after the doctor can become a consultant after a few years. The doctor on staff grade level can thus work in a specialist area. Special procedures can be performed under consultant leadership. Most of the clinical services are performed by them. They operate in hospital wards, at outpatient divisions, emergency rooms, community centres, and more. It should be noted that the staff grade has been replaced by the specialist doctor grade in 2008. It however, is not unlikely that you will still see staff grade doctors in the UK. The grades have not changed in Ireland and such you will still get locum doctor ads stating staff grade in the country.
The trust doctor is a doctor that is operating in a non training position on the level of senior house officer. The trust doctor is working with and mostly appointed by the NHS trust. Many locum doctor appointments fall into the trust doctor category.
The SAS Grade includes doctors in the medical field and encompasses staff grades as well as associate specialists. The doctors in this category enter specific career positions and specialities because they either work part time or want to stay in a specific area. Many of the doctors operate as GP principles for most of the time.
General Practitioner Registrar
The GP registrar is a person in training to become a GP. They operate under the supervision of a GP and develop consultancy skills, organization and management of a general practice, and gain experience in the areas of minor surgeries and general health. After successful completion of their training their names are entered in the GMC GP Register.
General Practitioner Principle
The GP operates in hospitals, clinics, prisons, community and family planning setups, health centres and their own private practices. They are responsible for patient care, general diagnosis, and also the treatment of patients. The GP will refer problem cases to a specialist. The doctor must be registered in the GP Register of the GMC.
The specialist registrar operates in the hospital environment and will train in a specific area after the completion of their foundation training. They train and gain experience in a specialist area over time and with time will manage more complicated cases. The specialist registrar operates under indirect supervision and guidance of the consultant. Upon completion of their training they are qualified to become consultants. They have to be entered into the GMC's Specialist Register.
The associate specialist is a doctor that operates in the hospital environment. Such a doctor will have extensive training and experience in surgeries and specific medical fields, but has not gone the normal route of becoming a consultant. The associate specialist most certainly has worked on staff grade level, has been promoted to an associate specialist level after having gained the qualification trained for, and also teaches junior doctors. It is not compulsory to be registered in the Specialist Register of the GMC.
Specialist doctor (replaces the SAS grade of staff and associate specialist)
The specialist operates in the hospital environment. The grade replaced the SAS grade of staff and associate specialist in 2008. The new grade includes the trust, clinical medical officer, clinical assistant, and hospital practitioner. The specialist is one with a wider field of expertise and training with a minimum of four years of training on postgraduate level. The specialist performs emergency as well as routine care still under the indirect or direct supervision of the consultant. The specialists on this level of "locum doctor grades" are in the position to obtain their specialist registration and to go onto the level of consultants. They also teach junior doctors.
Consultant (on the same level as the GP Principle)
It is a doctor who has completed training in a specific medical area and will have the role of teaching and supervising junior doctors as well as SAS grade doctors. They are responsible for the clinical medical care of patients in the hospital and will also lead their teams consisting of other doctors, nurses, and related medical professionals. They must be listed in the GMC Specialist Register after completion of their specialist training before they may be employed as consultants on substantive level in the NHS. There are exemptions such as well published academics that will practice at a training facility. A locum doctor appointment in a consultant position can be done where the doctor has enough clinical experience without the need for higher qualifications if for a limited time only.
The consultant can work on a contract basis with hospital trusts and will then be known as a substantive consultant. Titles associated with this type of position vary from medical or senior director to clinical senior consultant. It is possible to get a locum doctor consultant position for the short term if you have just become a consultant. You will have the typical responsibilities of clinical procedures without the responsibility of training junior doctors.