We're so glad that you have chosen to check us out. This page is a collection of information and tips to help you make the most of your experience finding locum work. If you're not registered yet, you can head to messly.com to read more and sign up. If you're already a member, you can login to your account at app.messly.com. Don't forget to download our iOS or Android app if you haven't already. P.S. Tap on the "toggle" triangle to see answers
💙 The basics
What is Messly?
Messly is a new and better way to find locum work.
We have brought together the best locum agencies onto Messly, and help you choose who is best to find you work.
You can see the locum work they have up-front, before you’ve shared your personal details.
More choice means 💰 better rates, 🚘 less travel and 💪 pick of departments.
How does Messly work?
In a nutshell we help you find your perfect locum work in three steps:
👨⚕️ 1) Create your Messly profile. Your profile on Messly is your chance to specify your personal preferences and highlight exactly what you're looking for.
This includes your grade and the sub-specialties you want to locum in, your pay expectations, your availability, how many shifts per month you want, and the rota patterns you're happy to work (e.g. nights / weekends)... and more.
🎯 2) Find locums from the best locum agencies. Review available locum work posted in our Discover section, and review messages sent to you by locum agencies with tailored offers of locum work. You manage all your conversations within Messly, and speak to those who you might like to work with. Don't share your personal details until you're sure that you want to go ahead.
💰 3) Start working. We'll help you get registered with chosen agencies, and they will start fixing specific locum work for you.
There is more information on each on these in this guide.
Why did you start Messly?
Abrar and Chris started Messly in 2016 with the mission of supporting doctors to have more fulfilling careers.
We started off by building the Training Navigator, a resource of ratings and reviews of NHS training programmes and rotations, which has been used by over half of all UK trainees.
But we wanted to go further...
More and more doctors are looking to step off the treadmill of a training programme and into more flexible, portfolio careers, or top up their income with locum work.
Finding work is the hardest part of this. Abrar experienced the challenges of finding the right locum work himself.
You choose a locum agency and hope they're the best one for you. But you only know what shifts they have once you’re tied in. You end up with whatever they have, and so you may be missing out on better paid, more rewarding work.
Our service is built with doctors in mind, putting you in control and helping you find your perfect locum jobs, quickly and on your terms.
👋 Who's who on Messly
Who is Messly for?
Messly is open to any and all doctors looking for locum work in the UK.
Our platform and services are suitable for doctors of all grades, and we're happy to work with doctors from all specialties. All you need in order to register successfully is a valid GMC registration, and the right to work in the UK.
Most doctors we work with tend to have at least 6m UK experience, although we can make exceptions for senior-level doctors.
What are locum agencies, and how do they find doctors locum work?
Locum agencies are companies that specialise in filling locum shifts for hospitals.
When a hospital has a long-term rota gap or a set of vacant shifts, they need a locum doctor to fill them. They typically try to fill it through their Staff Bank, and ask the locum agencies they work with to try to find suitable doctors too.
They charge Trusts fees for finding doctors to fill locum shifts, and for managing things like the doctor’s bookings, timesheets, pay, and compliance.
The mission of our service is to help you find the best recruiters at the best locum agencies, so you can find the perfect locum work for your F3 year.
Good agencies have recruiters who are experts who know the locum market inside-out, and will guide you through the process of finding the right locum work for you. They know which hospitals will have shifts, who pays the most, and where the work might be easier or more difficult. It’s a bit like working with an estate agent who understands the local area when looking to buy or rent a flat.
Is Messly a locum agency?
No. We're a service built for doctors, helping you to find the best agency or agencies to work with. We occasionaly get approached by hospitals or clinics directly who are
Who are the locum agencies on Messly?
You deserve to work with the best-rated, most trusted agencies. Picking the right agency means more access to work, better rates and a better service all round.
The locum agencies on Messly have been selected based on:
(i) their access to work, verified by Messly using data provided by hospitals on which agencies they use most; and
(ii) doctor feedback, provided to us from doctors who have worked with them in the past.
The best recruiters from their teams use our service to meet locum doctors who match to opportunities they have from clients.
We also hold them accountable to a strict Code of Conduct to ensure that they continue to look after your best interests.
🏠 My profile
Why do I need a profile?
Your profile on Messly is your chance to specify your unique personal preferences and highlight exactly what you're looking for.
When creating your profile, remember to be clear and specific about your needs and your expectations.
By having a detailed profile which accurately conveys what you want, you're far more likely to have productive conversations with recruiters, rather than vague chats.
What do I put on my profile?
This is your chance to make sure you're getting the types of opportunities you're looking for.
Your profile will include a section called a Wishlist, where you can state your preferences for things like:
1) The grade and sub-specialties you want to locum in
2) Pay expectations
3) Your start dates and availability
4) How many shifts per month you want, and the rota patterns you're happy to work such as nights, weekends, and so on
5) Desired locations and your willingness to travel
6) Any specific requirements you have, for things like accommodation
Can I edit my locum wish list if my plans change?
Yes, you can update your profile and your locum wishlist as and when your needs change.
To make edits, simply log in to Messly and go to your profile tab, and adjust the preferences as necessary.
Who sees my profile? Is it anonymous?
Only recruiters from agencies that are pre-vetted and approved by Messly can see your profile, so you don't need to worry about your colleagues or current hospital coming across it.
Your profile is anonymous, we only include your first name and you don't share your full name, GMC number or any contact details. If you choose to speak to a recruiter, you can then share your personal information at that point.
What are profile statuses and how do I change mine?
We have four profile statuses on Messly:
- Actively Looking: You are looking for locum work within 3 months and are ready to speak with agencies on Messly. You'll receive messages from recruiters in your Inbox and be able to browse the Discover section for recommended jobs.
- Starting to Look: You're starting your search and just want to see what is out there for now. You're not sure about your needs and want to have exploratory conversations with agencies. You'll still receive messages from recruiters in your Inbox and be able to browse the Discover section for recommended jobs.
- Open to Offers: You're only interested in better job offers than your current work and are ready to discuss your needs with agencies if the right things come up.
- Closed to Offers: You're not looking for locum work, and/or just want to learn about locuming for now. You won't receive any messages from recruiters to your Inbox. We suggest using this status if you've found work, and you can change it if your circumstances change.
What if I am no longer looking for work?
We understand that if you find a great role, or decide to take a break, you may not want to keep hearing about new opportunities.
That's fine. If you're no longer looking for work, simply set your status to "Closed to Offers" in your profile and you won't be contacted.
🎯 Finding work on Messly
Can I access Messly from my phone?
Yes. You can choose to use Messly whichever way is most convenient for you:
2) Use Messly on either your desktop or laptop computer by logging in via your web browser.
Go to messly.com to get started.
How do I use Messly to find work?
Messly is all about helping you connect to the best recruiters at the best locum agencies, so you can find the perfect locums for you.
You can do this in two ways on Messly:
- Recruiters from our chosen locum, agencies will review your profile, and make contact with you to pitch you on the work they have and how they might help you find work.
- You'll see these drop into your Inbox on Messly, with a helpful map of the jobs they've proposed, and more information about that recruiter such as their Messly rating and a short bio.
- We then ask you to review their message and respond. If you're interested you can schedule to speak to them, or give them feedback if they haven't quite hit the mark.
- Recruiters from our chosen agencies post their locum jobs that they are looking to fill on Messly. We show you the most suitable for you, based on the wish list in your profile.
- We also give you helpful information like maps and travel distance, information about the rota and department and the basics such as pay and dates. You'll also see ratings of the recruiters, given by other doctors who've worked with them before.
- If you see something of interest, we help you arrange to speak to the relevant recruiter. This is a no-commitment way for you to learn more about your options and what might happen next.
We've found that this gives you the pick of the available work, quickly and easily from your phone.
Can you show me around?
Can I see jobs from locum agencies upfront?
Yes, in the Discover section on Messly.
Recruiters from our chosen agencies post their locum jobs that they are looking to fill on Messly. We show you the most suitable for you, based on the wish list in your profile.
We also give you helpful information like maps and travel distance, information about the rota and department and the basics such as pay and dates. You'll also see ratings of the recruiters, given by other doctors who've worked with them before.
If you see something of interest, we help you arrange to speak to the relevant recruiter. This is a no-commitment way for you to learn more about your options and what might happen next.
How do I respond to messages in my Inbox?
Recruiters from our chosen locum agencies will review your profile, and make contact with you to pitch you on the work they have and how they might help you find work.
You'll see these drop into your Inbox on Messly, with a helpful map of the jobs they've proposed, and more information about that recruiter such as their Messly rating and a short bio.
We then ask you to review their message and respond. If you're interested you can schedule to speak to them, or give them feedback if they haven't quite hit the mark
Can I work with more than one locum agency?
There are many paths to finding locum work - many different locum agencies to choose from, as well as Trust's Staff Banks.
A common misconception is that you have to pick one option only, and then get stuck with wherever that leads. As a locum, you’re a freelance worker responsible for finding work for yourself, so you should find as many paths to good, well-paying shifts as possible. Casting your net as wide as possible is the best way to find the work you want.
Working with more than one locum agency provides you with a wider access to work and a better chance of securing your ideal locum job.
On Messly, we help you easily connect with multiple locum agencies, seeing what opportunities they have for you up-front before you've even spoken to them.
What are some insider "tips" to finding work on Messly?
We're here to make sure you find the work you want. So here are a few pointers for getting the most out of the service:
1) Cast your net wide - Book multiple calls to find out who would be the best fit for you
2) Note your special requirements - If there's anything particular about your locum needs, add this to the Bio section of your profile. This might be the need for accommodation, fitting your locum shifts around other commitments, or perhaps a particular clinical setting you do or don't want to work in. Whatever it is, we'll help you find work that's the right fit for your unique situation.
3) Rank your specialties - If you're able to work in multiple specialties, make sure you rank these in order of priority on your profile so the agencies know what your preferred locum work would be.
4) Let us help you - Our team is here to support you. If you're unsure of anything, don't feel the service is working for you, or have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch and ask us.
📢 Working with recruiters
Why do I need to speak to recruiters at all?
The common way of starting your working relationship with a locum agency is a short introductory phone call, referred to as a welcome call or registration call. This helps them understand exactly about what you want. It also gives you the chance to assess whether each agency will be a good fit for you personally.
It’s a useful, no obligation, no commitment way for you to find out more about the agency. You can use this call to gain insight into the types of roles they might be able to offer you, and it also allows you to make a more informed decision about whether to move forward with them.
Messly has a handy scheduling tool to help you organise your calls with recruiters at a convenient time, to remove the hassle.
What actually happens on these calls?
In a nutshell, you explain what you are looking for and the recruiter will explain what they can offer you. They will explain their registration process and the steps to finding work.
We've written an in-depth guide that will help you make sure you're well prepared for your registration calls, and to help you get the most possible value out of them. Read the full article here.
What if I dont want to go ahead after I have spoken?
That's absolutely fine. Feel free to say no to an agency if you don't want to work with them.
When you do, remember to also ask them to take your contact details off their system. That way, they won't contact you again. You can either do this immediately, or take some time to think about it.
Either way, you shouldn't move forward with a locum agency unless you're absolutely sure they're a good fit for you.
How do I get the most from working with a locum agency?
It all starts with finding the right agencies... which is what we're here for!
When you've completed the registration process with an agency, you should keep in regular contact with your dedicated recruitment agent, to ensure you're being put forward for the jobs you want.
Being proactive will get you more jobs than waiting around for them to contact you, so stay on top of the situation as much as possible.
You also need to be very specific with your recruiter. Tell them exactly what you’re looking for, and make sure to keep your CV updated with this same information, as well as any additional work experience you’ve gained since you last worked on it.
What is compliance and why does it even need to happen?
When you’re working as a locum in any healthcare setting, whether directly with the hospital or through an agency, there are rules in place to ensure you’re eligible and safe to work in each role you apply for. These rules exist to protect patients and colleagues.
In the case that you’re working with an agency, they'll help you get compliant when you register and they'll also be responsible for certifying that those checks have been done.
What is included in compliance?
NHS Employers, the body responsible for setting standards in this area, outlines six checks which all staff who want to work in a healthcare setting have to pass. These are:
1) Your identity (passport and proof of address)
2) Right to work (nationality and visa)
3) Employment history (CV and references)
4) Professional registration (GMC status and other certificates)
5) Occupational health (vaccinations and blood tests)
6) Criminal record (DBS checks, formerly called CRB)
Can I wait and do it once I have secured a job?
No. Unfortunately, hospitals won’t review your application for a job until they know you’ve passed through compliance.
The agency can usually submit you with a CV and references with the remainder to follow, but you’ll have to start the compliance process first before you have certainty about the job you’ll be working.
We know this is frustrating! That’s why we only include pre-vetted and highly-rated agencies on Messly, and get them to mention real roles up-front. This means you can be confident that you’re working with a great agency who will have relevant roles for you before you even start the compliance process.
Do I need to repeat if for each agency? Why can’t I just do it once?
Each individual agency is responsible for its own compliance. Unfortunately, there's no system for sharing that information between agencies (or between hospitals and agencies).
However, once you’ve been through the process once it becomes much easier thereafter. Around 90% of the requirements are the same, and if you have your documents saved in one place you can share that folder with subsequent agencies, which will save you a lot of time.
Where can I learn more about what’s required?
As part of the Messly service, we’ve interviewed doctors of all grades, as well the compliance managers at the leading agencies, to collect an extensive set of information and resources.
From that, we’ve built a complete guide for doctors looking to get compliant quickly and without hassle. Read the Messly Locum Compliance Toolkit here.
🔔 Trust and Safety
What are the "rules" on Messly?
We want Messly to be a high-trust environment for all parties. Therefore, we have created a Code of Conduct for both doctors and recruiters, which sets out the standards which we expect from you whilst you are using Messly.
Please be sure to read these rules carefully, and follow them at all times when using our service.
How do you protect my privacy?
We take your privacy seriously. Here's how:
Your profile is never public
Your profile is not visible or searchable on any public website or search engine. It's only visible to verified recruiters on Messly who have been vetted and onboarded by us.
Your profile is anonymous
Recruiters on Messly can't see your full name, contact details or address until you've chosen to share with with them. We also anonymise your CV when it's uploaded.
You chose who to share with
When you're messaged by a recruiter, you decide whether you want to share your personal details with them and how you want to be contacted. You'll never get spam calls out of the blue.
Delete your details
If you no longer want to use the Messly service, you can ask us as we will delete your data immediately. Although, if you've just found locum work and so aren't looking right now, we suggest keeping your account active and switching your profile status to "Closed to Offers".
What does the recruiter's rating mean?
Each recruiter has a rating on Messly, based on scores given by doctors who have spoken to them on Messly. We show you this rating to help you choose who to work with. Any bad ratings are followed up by our team, and repeat offenders will be removed.
How do I report a bad experience with a recruiter or Messly?
In the rare case that you do happen to have a negative experience with a recruiter, or with the platform itself, please let us know immediately via email or Whatsapp and we'll do everything we can to resolve the issue for you.