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.’