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GP locum notional pay cap set at £80 per hour, says GPC

NHS England has set its ‘indicative rate’ for locums at £80 per hour, as it presses ahead with plans to force practices to report every time they pay over this rate, the GPC has learned.

The chair of GPC’s sessional GP committee, Dr Zoe Norris, said that practices will be asked to submit a mandatory report on how much they have paid locums over the months of July, August and September 2016 ‘in the coming weeks’.

The mandatory report will ask ‘how many times in this period did you pay more than the indicative rate per hour to a locum?’.

Filling it out is compulsory for practices, having been written into the GP contract against the GPC’s wishes earlier this year.

The new national indicative rate of £80.01 has been calculated by NHS England based on the ‘average salaried GP pay range’ though the precise workings are unclear.

NHS England intends to use this information to map out areas of high locum demand, or areas where locums are particularly needed.

Dr Norris said: ‘The next few weeks will see practices being asked to submit data on how much they have paid locums.’

She said that this is part of practice’s ‘mandatory e-reporting’ so practices are contractually obliged to complete it, but stressed that ’it should have no impact on what rate is agreed between locums and practices.T

She said: ’This is not a cap. It is a data collection exercise. It’s important we are clear about that.’

In a blog on the BMA website, she added: ’You’ll forgive my cynicism about what happens next, and how this information gives us any more detailed information compared to what we already have. Needless to say, we will be at the table with NHSE looking at these figures and results.

’We will be reminding them what a significant part of the workforce sessional doctors are, and that in the current precarious position of the NHS, they would do well to remember this.’

The GMS contract for 2016/17 introduced the requirement to ‘record annually the number of instances where a practice pays a locum doctor more than an indicative maximum rate, as set out by NHS England.’

But GPC chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul told Pulse at the time that the clause had been ‘imposed unilaterally’ by NHS England and stressed there is no requirement for practices to set rates at the cap.

And at the Pulse Live conference in London this year Dr Nagpaul urged practices not to take any notice of the ‘indicative rate’, saying we need to ‘just challenge it head-on, and not be affected by anything that is not contractual.’

Pulse has asked NHS England for a comment.

Readers' comments (98)

  • Secure environments GP

    I'm a portfolio GP, run my own business doing specialist GP work in challenging high secure environments. It pays very well, I'm lucky to have the skills and training for this, most give up due to the stress and personal risks. There is no cap on hourly rates, 3x in last 4 years asked for uplifts and always been given them. I feel like a lawyer must do, respected and suitably rewarded.

    When I do Community GP work to keep my general skills up I charge £600 a day and simply say I'll work like the partners do (within safe limits) If they do crazy days like 50 triage calls 45 face to face and 3 home visits I will tell them that isn't safe then set limits. That rarely happens as most practices want you to come back! I will never be a GP partner again working 12 hour days with expected superhuman stamina and crazy financial risks.

    I will never be an exploited Salaried GP. I'm too old (44) and too committed to my work and highly experienced to see my efforts (blood, sweat and tears) unduly profit partners.

    Basically we are all voting with our feet trying to find a balanced life, for some only way is locum work, moving abroad, going part time, leaving the NHS. I don't think the current situation is recoverable unless an absolutely massive injection of cash into primary care and stripping away all the nonsense bureaucracy. I dream.

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  • there should really be a minimum rate too as working for 400 a day in the past 10 hour day is only 40 per hour. How about minimum 80 as well??

    those that charge by the hour oft don't charge for all the time they work but now they probably will. I think this will just drive pay up

    I think virgin want cheaper slaves #shadowgovernment but it might backfire

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  • Pharmacist 9pm

    Is £80 too much then?

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  • David @ 11.01 - very well put and completely agree. Pharmacist 9pm - totally sympathise with the pharmacy situation - underpaid and overworked. However, I doubt you'll be rushing to become a GP. Like David says, people in both professions are voting with their feet and the public won't appreciate this until there's a noticeable effect perceived by them.

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  • Comments confirm the greed of doctors(I am not against you by the way). You all love money as much as the bext person but very lazy when you pretend it's about 'patient safety'.

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  • If some GPs say they prefer cap rates because they are salaried or partners, they are not forced to do so it is their choice, the door of locuming is open to every body so welcome to this and plz no comments on capping locum rates.

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  • RCGP...leaders greed through the backdoor.hand in hand with hunt!

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  • I have to laugh at you guys. Pharmacist employees and locums getting screwed over by corporations and independent contractors. How does £15 p/h grab some of you. We're all as greedy as we can get away with, only some don't tell barefaced lies about 'patient safety' blah blah blah......

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  • GP's running multiple surgeries in their portfolio.. please take note... time has come for you to cough up your profits made all these years....demand and supply.. what goes around, comes around..hahaha

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  • David Barrett What do you feel is a safe maximum number of face to face telephone encounters?

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