How to negotiate a better rate of pay as a locum pharmacist
How to negotiate a better rate of pay as a locum pharmacist
The rate of pay as a locum pharmacist will vary throughout the UK because of changes based on local factors. The average ranges from £14-£26. You need to ensure that the pay you are receiving reflects your experience and skills. And experience really does count. A newly qualified locum pharmacist with very little experience won’t earn the same as a seasoned pharmacist with multiple different PGD’s and postgraduate diplomas.
Knowing how to negotiate – and when to negotiate – is important. So when you start the conversation “I was wondering if there was any flexibility in the rate of pay?”, make sure you have a clear strategy in place. Follow our top tips for building that strategy:
Top tip 1: Know the ‘going rate’
The first step in making sure you are able to arrange the best possible rate, is to know what other locum pharmacists are earning where you are intending to work. Before seeking to negotiate a higher rate of pay as a locum pharmacist, make sure you speak to other locums and research the average hourly rates offered online and on social media groups.
In towns and cities where there are fewer pharmacists available, the ‘going rate’ will certainly be higher. Cities which are more saturated with locum pharmacists may offer lower rates. Take for instance a locum pharmacist who has been paid £30 an hour in the Isle of Wight for a week, with travel, hotel, and food expenses covered. The same locum pharmacist shouldn’t expect to receive a similar rate of pay in London, where there is an over-supply of pharmacists. Make sure you know the ‘going rate’ in that town or city before entering any negotiation with a would-be employer.
Top tip 2: Know your role
There are many accreditations and top-up courses available. These courses will not only bolster your CV but also your role as a pharmacist. MUR and NMS courses are especially important. Many employers will see these as requirements for the locum role. So, consider furthering your skill set as a pharmacist by developing in the following areas:
Safeguarding children and vulnerable adults:
This course is increasingly relevant and most employers ask for all their professionals to be up-to-date with training in relation to safeguarding and protecting vulnerable patients from neglect, harm, or abuse.
An important course that will help in building the skills you have as a locum pharmacist. This course will help you identify who may need advice and support, how to provide support and the best course of action to take in relation to emergency contraception and signposting where required.
Stop smoking support:
Being able to offer appropriate advice and support to patients wanting to quit smoking. Smoking Cessation is another course which is becoming increasingly popular. The majority of cardiovascular MUR’s that you carry out will also offer self-care and lifestyle advice to your patients. Have you considered becoming accredited with the National Centre for Smoking Cessation and Training?
Repeat dispensing accounts for a large percentage of all items dispensed in community pharmacy. A course in repeat dispensing will give you the necessary knowledge in fulfilling this essential service. The course will include knowing who is suitable for repeat dispensing, record-keeping requirements, and procedures relating to repeat dispensing. This is useful knowledge for any locum pharmacist.
Flu and travel vaccinations:
Community pharmacy is diversifying in the services it offers; travel clinics and flu vaccinations are now readily available in most pharmacies. To stand out as a locum pharmacist, build your knowledge relating to CPR, First Aid and undergo vaccination training.
Most of these courses can be accessed on the CPPE website. PGD’s are also becoming increasingly popular, the more you can offer, the better rate of pay as a locum pharmacist you will get.
Top tip 3: Know your worth
As a locum pharmacist, you should base your negotiation on various different factors. Base the hourly rate around the workload you will undertake whilst working. A busy pharmacy with fewer staff members certainly warrants better pay, and you shouldn’t be shy in asking. Different days of the week will also attract different rates of pay; finding a locum on a weekend is more difficult since most people want the weekends off. But that also means you are likely to expect a better hourly rate. If you’re working in a busy community pharmacy with two adjacent surgeries – ask for a higher hourly rate. Distance-selling pharmacy which doesn’t offer any extra services to its patients is likely to only pay at a lower rate.
Top tip 4: First impressions count
If you are offered a shift, and you are happy with the hourly rate, then make sure you leave a lasting impression. Most pharmacies have a favourite locum pharmacist or at least a bank of locum pharmacists. These are professionals who are reliable, professional, and who go that extra mile in serving their patients. Employers are likely to increase hourly rates for locum pharmacists who are proven to offer an excellent service. If you impress the pharmacy team on the shifts you work, then expect to be called back, with the possibility of a better rate of pay as a locum pharmacist.
Top tip 5: Know your agency
My Locum Choice has over 3000 locum pharmacists using its services regularly. My Locum Choice works with thousands of pharmacies across the UK, ranging from independent pharmacies to national chains. The My Locum Choice App allows you to search for shifts according to your preference, receive invitations from pharmacies directly, and keep track of shift payments. With the App, all you need to do is Search, Select, and Book Locum Shifts.
Check out the App now and begin making your life as a locum pharmacist a lot easier.
This article was written on behalf of My Locum Choice by Hassan Riaz from Pharmacy Mentor.