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Map showing regional average GP locum daily rates 2023

Map showing regional average GP locum daily rates 2023

Latest figures on GP locum day rates reveals a slight increase between 2022 and 2023

Average GP locum day rates in England currently range from £600 to £850, latest data shows, with fees for 2023 rising by 2% compared with last year.

Despite an overall increase, the rates in some of the most expensive areas have seen a modest decline over the past 12 months, the figures compiled for Management in Practice also reveal.

In 2022, the highest daily rate was £900 but this year fees have peaked at £850 (see table below).

Out of the country’s 48 counties, average locum day rates for 2023 are highest in Cornwall where doctors are commanding rates of £850. The lowest rates charged are in Gloucesterhsire (£600-£650).

Since these are only regional averages, it means some locums will be on higher rates than shown and some lower. The figures also do not include locum pension contributions.

Calculations show that median locum pay is at £732, an increase from £718 last year. This is a 16% increase since five years ago.

All the data is presented on our interactive map below so you can see the spread of pay rates and how much locum remuneration is in your local area. 

Ash Higgs, MD of recruitment specialist MCG Healthcare said the figures reveal an interesting trend in 2023 GP locum rates.

He said: ‘At the start of the year, rates appeared to be increasing, however, as the cost of living crisis and high inflation put pressure on surgery budgets and funding issues grew, locum rates began to level out and even decreased in some cases.

‘When examining the full year of data, the overall picture aligns with 2022 figures, with average UK locum GP rates rising 2% from 2022 to 2023. Looking back even further there has been a sizable 20% increase since 2017.’

Mr Higgs explains that to address the ongoing GP shortage, many PCNs have utilised the Additional Roles Reimbursement Scheme (ARRS) to help manage workload. However, he added that locums are still very much in demand.

‘Some integrated care boards show GPs managing 50% more patients than is safely feasible and with around 4,200 full-time equivalent (FTE) GPs lacking nationwide, until the government implements policies to improve GP recruitment and retention, surgeries will likely continue relying on locums and other clinicians to fill workforce gaps and costs will continue to increase.’

This article was first published by Pulse’s sister title Management in Practice


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Please note, only GPs are permitted to add comments to articles

David Church 2 October, 2023 2:00 pm

Is the map reflective of a 7-hour session of routine appointments, with no on-call, or is it more in line with a 10.5 hour day including 0800-1830 on-call with all emergencies and visits?
I feel the demand for the very slightly different forms of locum cover is likely to differ between regions, and affect how representative the figures might be.

Not on your Nelly 2 October, 2023 2:08 pm

If a locum says they won’t do visits, admin or anything else except seeing a minimum number of patients, is there any point them being there? We have stopped using them as except for looking like we are providing appointments, there is no benefit to the practices.

John Graham Munro 2 October, 2023 2:12 pm

Remember———-it is easier to get a centre court seat at Wimbledon finals than a first class locum———that’s why locums cost more.

John Graham Munro 2 October, 2023 2:43 pm

Not on your Nelly———— are you saying ”locums will not be dumped on”

a S 2 October, 2023 2:43 pm

Great but right now there is no locum work and I think that’s here to stay. Surgeries can book in anyone to see patients so why book a GP. With no pension contribution, holiday pay or sick cover £800 is not a lot.

David Church 2 October, 2023 5:28 pm

September is usually a quiet time for locums, but October always picks up.
It is possible some practices are giving up on finding staff due to their scarcity.
Other grades of staff seem to be in short supply as well, mind, especially good and well-experienced ones.

a S 2 October, 2023 8:38 pm

Unfortunately I don’t think this is just seasonal. Ive been a full time locum 15 years and its never been like this For the past year everywhere I used to work, GP shifts are being replaced by ANP’s/ AE doctors/ paramedics or physician associates. Also some of the work is getting done remotely by private providers. The only option now is salaried GP so I know some people who have just not renewed their registration and gone into something else not even meical. . I managed to get one shift a week till Xmas and i’m lucky.

Ben Williams 3 October, 2023 8:46 am

I had my plumber out last week to fix a toilet leak and 2 taps that needed some attention. Took 3 hours…….£240. Just saying

Centreground Centreground 6 October, 2023 1:15 pm

We have found that across the NHS in all types of staff roles there are terrible NHS staff and I would guesstimate across the board (not locums in particular) anywhere between 5 to 10 % of staff are lazy , have no motivation or some other personality issue that makes them not ideal or not fit for purpose to work within the NHS and this should be highlighted more as they have a disproportionate negative effect on the rest of the NHS workforce.
Most locums we have found if paid well return the favour by doing the work we request and we accept that is there choice for them to work as locums and we have mutual respect. Occasional locums (infrequent) who simply do the minimum and fob off patients we simply to not employ again.
Being a locum is a difficult job but different to that of the different but difficult job in other respects of being a partner and we all have choices.
It is the many dubiously appointed GPs who enter PCN and ICB management roles or NHSE roles who are our main problem.