Locum Vets – The Benefits?



Vets To Be Added To Shortage List in the UK?

The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended that veterinary surgeons be added to the shortage occupation list. The RVC and BVA in the UK made a submission for the MAC to review in autumn 2018 which has been received with positivity. This would prioritise professionals on the list for entrance visas to live and work in the UK. Current barriers such as a requirement to advertise all jobs to UK workers first and a requirement to meet a £35,800 salary threshold after 5 years would be removed and allow a much more fluid employer market for vets entering the UK.


Vet Partners Buy in NI

VetPartners have completed their first purchase in Northern Ireland by acquiring Parklands Veterinary Group based in Mid Ulster. The Northern Irish business was privately held by seven directors employing over 30 staff and reported profits of £1.2m in February 2018 with turnover having risen by 27% to £11.7m with net assets of £3.2m.

VetPartners chief executive Jo Malone stated that: “This is our first venture into Northern Ireland and we anticipate that it won’t be the last.”

Corporate Consolidation of the veterinary industry worldwide continues at a frantic pace and the veterinary industry continues to change rapidly.


Stay up to date with all the latest in the veterinary industry right here at The Vet Service.


Locum Vets – The Benefits

Locuming is now one of the most popular career paths open to veterinary professionals and is now included as a defined option amongst other routes of work in the sector including research, permanent clinical roles, specialisation, industry jobs etc.


However the role of the locum vet can sometimes still be misunderstood by both practices and vets. Below is a brief overview of what each entitiy should expect from the process of locuming and what benefits the service can be bring.


Practice / Business Locum Benefits

There is a great variance on how practices view the use of locum services, some will only use it in an emergency situation where others use it as a real ongoing beneficial service to their business development.


So what benefits can a locum bring to a practice?

  • Experience: A locum should classically be an experienced professional who will not need complete training in the same way as a junior permanent hire would – saving time and money.
  • Increased Practice Earnings: Many career locums really understand the financial side of the sector and often by using ongoing locum services in contract compared to new graduates many of our registered practices will be document increased business earnings and turnover as appropriate diagnostics and medicines are prescribed where such issues would be missed by using less experienced staff members. Income can often then exceed the outgoing cost in paying the increased rates. In other instances it is a process of keeping a service maintained even at a break even point until an appropriate permanent staff member is sourced.
  • Flexibility: Locum services can be flexible so they can be utilised to give practice directors more time to focus on non clinical time and business directorship. They can also be utilised when trying to increase or grow businesses where there may not yet be enough turnover to employ a full time employ but part time contractors can be used over a period of a year or more to grow the business until it is established enough to hold a full time employee.



Vets – Why Locum?

The best thing about working as a veterinary surgeon today is that there are so many opportunities available in so many countries. Often it can be hard to find direction with some of the main options today involving permanent clinical contracts, industry jobs, specialisation, academia and of course locuming.

Locuming has rapidly increased in popularity over the last 10 years due to many reasons but some issues include, vets searching for a better work/life balance, changing demographics towards feminisation, increasing corporatisation and reduced opportunities for practice ownership.

  • Flexible Working Hours: By becoming effectively self employed you can pick and chose when you want to work. With no shortage of veterinary work in many countries like the UK, NZ, AU, IRE and CA work can be source when and where you want. This flexibility gives many people the ability to live and work the way they want to and can also suit an ever increasing number of working mums or woman looking for the right balance who now dominant the industry.
  • Increased Earnings: Pound for Pound locum rates, whether hourly or daily will be higher (rates do vary per region and country so please contact us directly on [email protected] for further info on this) and this gives vets the ability to either earn 10’s of thousands more than in a permanent contract or earn the equivalent of a normal salary but work less.
  • Personal and Clinical Development: Most locums will already have a certain level of experience but being able to work in so many different practice environments gives them the perfect option to really grow clinically by seeing an ever changing caseload but also develop personal skills by meeting different people whether staff or clients and building communication skills.


Vets locum for different reasons – maybe they are career locums and want to increase their earnings, some are part time to manage their personal life or complete further studies, others locum for a short period like 4-6 months to build up savings for a particular goal like moving abroad.

What is for sure is that locum services can be extremely beneficial to both practices and vets.

For more information on your next role follow our Vet Jobs or Locum Vet Jobs pages.

If you want to discuss these services further as a vet or practice director contact The Vet Service today on [email protected] , register here or if you are already a client contact your personal account advisor.

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