Doctors Direct

Doctors Direct is a medical locum service by NHS Professionals. We provide NHS Trusts across the UK with a bank of temporary, flexible doctors. Our service saves money for NHS Trusts because, while we offer the same salaries as independent agencies, we don’t charge the same expensive fees and profits we make go straight back into the NHS.

We have team members based at each of our Partner Trusts, who provide support and assistance wherever necessary, as well as a dedicated Head Office team, who manage staff supply and demand right across the country.

You need at least six months’ experience, gained in the NHS within the last two years.

Once registered with Doctors Direct you will be assigned a dedicated consultant, who will keep you informed of any suitable placements that come up. You can also see all available shifts on NHSP:Connect.

Doctors will either have a standard rate or personalised rate. The standard rate is linked to your grade and speciality, but the rate varies between Trusts so there is no specific salary for a grade or specialty.

Just click the ‘Joining NHSP’ tab on this website and follow the simple instructions on the page. Alternatively, email a copy of your CV to A member of the recruitment team will aim to be in touch within 48 hours.

You can contact the Doctors Recruitment team by:

Yes. Many doctors who are substantively employed at Trusts work additional shifts through Doctors Direct. You can view our simple Bank Exclusive joining route here.

Just click the ‘Joining NHSP’ tab on this website and follow the simple instructions on the page, depending on which route you wish to join Doctors Direct through.

If you are applying to join through a Bank Exclusiveroute (to work at one Trust only that you are currently substantively employed by or known to) once you have completed the initial application you will be directed to your Trust Liaison Coordinator or Doctors Account Coordinator who will verify your documents.

If you are completing a full bank application(to work at more than one of our client Trusts) the first stage begins soon after you register your interest, this is our screening process. After this you’ll be required to complete a full application and meet with a Doctors Direct representative for your documents to be verified. 

We also complete pre-employment checks, including a DBS, Occupational Health clearance and professional reference checks. Once you have passed these, you will be sent a welcome pack including your new ID badge.

For more information about DBS checks, visit the dedicated government website.

If you just want to work at one Trust, you can register using our Bank Exclusive process, as stated within the “What is the recruitment process?” question. You will also be able to start work and get paid sooner.

If you want to work Doctors Direct shifts at a range of Trusts you will need to go through the full bank application process before you can start work.

You will find a Doctors Direct office at each of our client Trusts, where a Trust Liaison Coordinator will be able to verify your documents. You can also get your documents verified by a member of the Doctors Recruitment team. Email the team at or call them on 0333 014 3652.

You need to provide two references if applying through our full bank process (to work at more than one of our client Trusts) If you are applying for a Consultant post you will need to provide three. References are important because they allow us to confirm who you are and that you meet the high standards required by Doctors Direct.

Your referees should be supervisors (Consultants) who have worked with you in the last 12 months. If you are a Consultant, one of your referees should be the Medical Director from the Trust you most recently worked for.

Yes, however if you have up-to-date Occupational Health records you may not need further immunisation/vaccinations.

We'll get in touch whenever a post comes up that suits your skills and experience. You can also put yourself forward for shifts on NHSP:Connect, our online system. It’s also possible to contact the Trust directly, so their Booking Manager can log you on the system.

Locums working through Doctors Direct will be paid

You can email, to find out how many hours you have accrued. Paid annual leave cannot be accrued if you have worked locum shifts through Direct Engagement. If you are booked through Direct Engagement, you receive your paid annual leave at the same time as you receive payment for your locum shift 

As a member of Doctors Direct you are able to join our NHS Professionals NHSP Stakeholder pension plan. If you are working through Direct Engagement you will be eligible to join the NHS Pension.

We run a wide range of events to help our Doctors continue their professional development throughout their time with us.

We run Study Days for our doctors to support with Continued Professional Development points – approved by the Royal College of Physicians. These have included topics such as Emergency Medicine/Obstetrics & Gynaecology updates, Cognitive Bias & Dissonance, Managing Conflict and Capacity, Consent & Candour to name a few. 

All the Study Days have been well received by the attendees with feedback such as:

“It was a really good, helpful Study Day. Very nice environment and presentations. Doctors Direct should keep on conducting such activities for Doctors. All presentations were useful for me”

“Well thought out day of presentations, very interactive”

Each of our Partnered Trusts has their own TLC or Doctors Account Coordinator. Call us on 03330 143 652 to get the contact details for your local on-site team.

It is the professional duty of the doctor themselves to ensure that they are safe to return to clinical practice

Doctors must identify and address issues arising from absence and help set in place the necessary processes to support them to update their skills and knowledge. This process is likely to require collaboration with bodies including their employer, designated body, appraiser, etc.

The Doctor’s Clinical Governance department can support with putting the necessary processes in place in collaboration with the doctor and a suitable Client Trust to prepare the doctor for returning to a clinical setting. Please contact for additional advice.

All doctors returning to practice should read the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ Return to Practice guidance and enact their recommendations where relevant

In addition, other organisations have issued guidance as follows: 
The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain & Ireland
Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
British Medical Association
Medical Women’s Federation

Finally, there are a number of articles about returning to practice in publications such as the BMJ. Examples are here and here.

The Doctor’s Clinical Governance department can support with putting the necessary processes in place in collaboration with the doctor and a suitable Client Trust to prepare the doctor for returning to a clinical setting. Please contact DoctorsRevalidation@NHSProfessionals.nhs.ukfor additional advice.

Send your request in writing to

Please contact your Trust Liaison Coordinator, who will arrange for your information to be updated.

A significant number of doctors take breaks away from clinical practice for reasons including family (e.g. maternity or paternity leave), academic research or sabbaticals for travelling and evidence suggests that clinical skills are lost rapidly during time away from practice

Therefore, when doctors return to work after a break they should do so in a way which prioritises patient safety and minimises professional risk to themselves