What is a locum used for?

As you might expect from the way the word looks, Locum comes from the Latin language. It’s full use is Locum Tenens, which means place holder. However, our use of the phrase is not about holding something in place but rather it relates to referring to a person who temporarily takes over a job from someone. This is not meant to be permanent. In fact it is usual in some cases for a position to be filled by a series of Locums.

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It is mainly a practice used in the medical and pharmaceutical profession. It is not uncommon for a Doctor of Pharmacist to leave their regular position to either be a locum elsewhere for experience or to be on a course for continuous professional development and therefore need a temporary replacement in the practice. For example, it is thought that there are at least three thousand five hundred locum Doctors in the NHS on an average day.

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Regardless of the temporary position, a locum is still under the same rules and regulations as regular Doctors and Nurses. As a result they are just as susceptible to medical malpractice suits and the like. Therefore there should be some Locum Insurance in place before they start.

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