Doctors Abroad is the leading International medical recruitment agency supplying International medical staff to a wide range of public and private sector clients throughout United Kingdom, and 18 more countries.
There are approximately 230 private hospitals in the United Kingdom. Most are required to have a Resident Medical Officer (RMO) on site 24 hours a day to cover for cardiac arrests on behalf of consultants. The hospitals vary in size, medical complexity and workload but a typical private hospital will handle elective surgery only. There are relatively few acute medical admissions, as private hospitals generally do not accept myocardial infarcts, etc. Only the larger hospitals (>60 beds) will have ICU or ITUs and most of the clinical workload is geared towards general ward work and managing post-operative complications. RMOs usually work 168-hour shifts, during which time they are required to remain on the hospital site at all times. Meals and accommodation are provided free whilst on duty and the on-call room will usually have satellite TV. RMOs cover private hospital for emergencies and general ward work; some hospitals may require RMOs to assist in theatre. ACLS and APLS, medical indemnity cover are compulsory requirements. We typically expect 6-12 month commitment.
What clinical skills do I need and why do RMO work?
Outside of office hours, the RMO is only doctor on site and must be confident in dealing with clinical emergencies on behalf of admitting consultants. All applicants are required to hold full adult and pediatric resuscitation qualifications (ACLS and APLS or equivalent). RMO work is ideal for those doctors wishing to study whilst earning a reasonable salary. Also, with the current difficulties in organizing a substantive post in the UK from overseas and the unpredictability of NHS locums, RMO work has become the best way to guarantee work in the UK. It is an ideal way to enter the UK and will enable one to apply for NHS substantive posts while earning a salary. NHS locums are often arranged at short notice and thus difficult to plan around and usually are not guaranteed.
What sort of rotas can I work and what about contracts?
Generally, one can work either one week on/one week off (1 in 2) or a two weeks on/one week off (2 in 3) rotas. All the RMO service provider contracts are broadly similar although wording will be different. Although somewhat confusing, most of the total pay packages will be the same although certain elements may differ. For example, one company may offer a bonus whereas another will offer holiday pay. The length of the average contract is usually 3, 6, 9 or 12 months. Most contracts are fixed term contracts and doctors are expected to complete the full term. Where RMOs wish to end earlier than agreed, some companies may enforce penalty clauses whereby the RMO is expected to pay costs towards organising a replacement RMO (typically £4,000).
How much do I get paid?
In total, contracted RMOs will typically be paid £1,830 for every 168-hour week worked and is calculated as follows:
PAY PER STANDARD RMO DUTY SHIFT OF 168 HOURS WORKED
Basic standard RMO pay around £1,700
Holiday pay (typical figure, depends on rota, length of contract, etc.) £1,300 -£1,830
Please note that holiday pay and bonuses are subject to compulsory tax and National Insurance deductions. Generally, we will try our best to match most competitor packages. For example, some RMOs particularly those with anaesthetic/ICU experience can earn up to £3,000 per week.