RMO Information
What is RMO work? Why work through CMS?
What clinical skills do I need and why do RMO work? How much do I get paid?
What happens if I am married? What about work permits and visas?
What about off duty accommodation and transport? What about tax, medical aid and health insurance?
What sort of rotas can I work and what about contracts? What other services does Cape Medical offer?
Which company should I use? How do I apply for a job through Cape Medical Services?

What is RMO work?

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 and basic pay at contract hospitals is £1615-00 per week worked, including holiday pay; non-contract work is £18-25 per hour. Re-imbursement of flights, GMC registration, ACLS and APLS courses are provided for contract doctors; however, re-imbursements depend on the length of contract. Subsidised off duty accommodation and a car are provided on a first come first served basis.

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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 paediatric 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 organising 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. Also, without a car, doctors may find it difficult to organise sufficient work.

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What happens if I am married?

Cape Medical have several rotations which are suitable for married couples in terms of onsite hospital off duty accommodation. Please contact our office for further information.

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What about off duty accommodation and transport?

Most RMO hospitals provide accommodation during duty weeks only. Some hospitals may allow the RMO to leave some luggage there during "off" weeks and we have a small number of hospitals do provide free off-duty accommodation and these posts tend to be filled far in advance.

CMS also has a house in Worcester available for off duty accommodation with single and double rooms, satellite TV, etc. RMOs are accommodated on a first come, first served basis and a small nominal fee per person per night is charged. Alternatively, RMOs may rent a rent for their (and their spouse) exclusive use for 3,6 months, etc. CMS also has a small fleet of cars available for RMO use.

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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. Married couples (where one or both partners are doctors) generally prefer to work a 1 in 2 rota. 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).

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Which company should I use?

Obviously, each RMO company is different and doctors need to speak to the different companies and choose to work through the company with which they feel most comfortable. Personal referral from friends is important. Bear in mind that the jobs vary tremendously in terms of workload, clinical profile, etc and doctors need to ascertain exactly to which hospital they will be allocated.

You would be best advised not to sign any employment contract without first ascertaining where exactly you will be working and if indeed, work is actually guaranteed. Also, think carefully before signing contracts that do not specify agreed salaries, bonuses, etc.

We at CMS believe that it is also important to consider how doctors are treated once they started the job. For example, despite our competitors making similar promises, each Cape Medical RMO is always met individually on arrival in the UK and taken to their allocated accommodation or hospital. For example, what happens if the RMO wants to transfer from the hospital or wishes to end the contract earlier? What happens when you get a NHS interview during one of your duty weeks at short notice? In this regard we encourage prospective RMOs to speak to existing RMOs or better, speak to friends who have done the job, particularly at the hospitals to which they have been allocated as the RMOs.

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Why work through CMS?

You will deal with experienced staff working closely with the MD, who has considerable first-hand experience of the work involved and is able to advise and mediate on all clinical matters. We actively encourage all prospective doctors to speak to the outgoing RMO in the hospital to which they have been allocated so that they may accurately gauge the job, workload and working environment.

CMS is the only South African owned and operated UK RMO service provider that provides personalised one to one service throughout your stay in the UK. As such, we specialise in assisting doctors and their families in relocating to the UK. From the time that you are met at the airport on arrival in the UK, to accompanying you to open a bank account, registering with a general practitioner, we are with you. We update every doctor’s CV individually to NHS standards and before completing a RMO job, each RMO will undergo a career briefing, which comprises full CV review and forward career planning.

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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 £1,700-00
Holiday pay (typical figure, depends on rota, length of contract, etc.) £130-00
  £1, 830-00

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.

CMS will re-imburse the following expenses:
  • GMC registration or renewal (where doctor is already registered)
  • MPS or MDU medical indemnity costs
  • ACLS and APLS resuscitation courses (or update where already held)
  • Relocation expenses (flights)

From a gross salary of £1,830 per week worked, after tax and NI (see below), a RMO will receive approximately £1,100 - £1,300 net pay per week. Please contact the office for current pay packages.

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What about work permits and visas?

CMS organise the relevant work permits for all applicant doctors once we have signed a contract of employment. Doctors who are married and require permits for their family should contact our office for further advice, as this will require extra documentation and may take longer to organise.

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What about tax, medical aid and health insurance?

As an employee, one is obliged to pay income tax on UK earnings and this is deducted from the weekly pay. Most RMOs are able to claim back some tax and CMS will usually do this for the RMO for free. The RMO will have to contribute to National Insurance (NI) that equates to around £48-80 per week worked and this covers the RMO for free NHS (government) healthcare which is adequate for most health needs. We further advise RMOs to take out extra travel insurance if they intend travelling across Europe, etc. An annual policy can be arranged for around £68-00 per year, which also covers a spouse for free.

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What other services does Cape Medical offer?

We also provide reference information that you may wish to pass on to your referees for those doctors who are considering a substantive NHS training posts. This information will ensure that training posts completed outside of the UK will be recognised by the relevant UK Royal College. College recognition will enable doctors will go into the NHS at the correct (i.e. higher) salary level. Other publications include Improving your CV which contains vital information on how to adapt your CV for NHS substantive posts.
This is essential reading for all doctors who have come to the UK through other agencies as typically these agencies will provide templates which, while acceptable for RMO work, are unsuitable for NHS substantive posts. Samples of typical outline CVs can be downloaded from our website for free although the accompanying information pack and advice sheets are available to CMS RMOs only.

We can also assist you in obtaining anything from discounted laptops and motor cars to mortgages through our affiliated services providers.

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How do I apply for a job through Cape Medical Services?

If you are interested in applying for a post or want to discuss your UK options, please telephone +44(0) 1905 617 611 or fax on +44(0) 1905 731 511 or register via our website. The first priority is to register with the GMC (see below). Secondly, one needs to book adult and paediatric resuscitation courses as these tend to get booked up, particularly in December/January each year. You then need to decide which company you will work through. Once you have signed a contract, your work permit visas, bank accounts, etc will be organised by your chosen employer i.e. Cape Medical.

For all types of work, we require the following documentation:

  • Current curriculum vitae including physical address to courier work permit to (when issued). If you do not have an up-to-date CV, please contact our office staff who will forward a CV template for you to complete.
  • Clinical references: Minimum of three original, recent, satisfactory referees/references are required (preferable be relevant i.e. a paediatric referee for paediatric locums). You should supply CMS with names, telephone AND fax numbers for each referee.
  • Hepatitis B immunity and hepatitis C status laboratory report (in English only); this must state the quantitative Anti HBVAb titres (and HbsAg if non-responder), and not just proof of vaccination.
  • GMC Status and Medical Protection Society Status: If you are a member, please supply your GMC and MPS numbers, if not a member, let us know and we will forward the relevant application forms to you. (please see GMC section later on).
  • Resuscitation qualifications (ALS/ACLS/ATLS and APLS/PALS or equivalent) dates competed or booked; for a list of the latest available courses, please contact the resuscitation Course centres directly.

Please send all documentation to our office address:

Cape Medical Services
Merevale House
27 Sansome Walk
Worcester WR1 1NU
United Kingdom

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Email Cape Medical Services

Merevale House, 27 Sansome Walk, Worcester, WR1 1NU United Kingdom
+44 (0)1905 617 611 +44 (0)1905 731 511

 

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