GP locum agency pushes £1,000 day rates for sessional work

22nd July 2022 by NASGP

GP locum agency pushes £1,000 day rates for sessional work

‘Desperate’ GP practices are paying agencies over £1,000 a day to source locums, GPs told Pulse.

In an email sent to GPs last month and seen by Pulse, Primary Care Medical Chambers offered GP locums ‘in excess of £1,000 per day’.

The company added: ‘Naturally, this may require you to travel and work slightly further afield so contribution towards travel expense can be organised.’ Primary Care Medical Chambers operates nationally.

Dr Abbie Brooks, a GP partner in York, told Pulse that ‘desperate’ practices will be forced to pay high day rates, and warned that skyrocketing agency rates are ‘just creating competition’. Another partner, Dr Russell, warned that the £1,000 paid to the locum is ‘probably the tip of the iceberg’, as the cost to the practice will be even more.

National Association of Sessional GPs (NASGP) chair Dr Richard Fieldhouse told Pulse that he was ‘disheartened’ to hear the news because an NASGP Locum Chambers ‘would never – and could never – set a rate in this manner’.

Dr Fieldhouse writes: “With inflation and GP shortages, it was only a matter of time before the fact that a locum agency is offering a routine day rate above £1,000 hit the headlines.

“Unlike an agency, the NASGP Locum Chambers model is an independent collaborative of local GP locums. NASGP Locum Chambers members set their own individual fees – not the chambers. And the practices pay the locum’s fee, with no additional agency fee – NASGP is not an agency.

“A particularly important factor within our model is the sense of belonging that being part of NASGP Locum Chambers brings, which creates a powerful shared professional reputation. We’re confident that this reputation will help us collectively cut through negative attitudes towards GP locums.”

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"After finally deciding to fully engage with NASGP and to join the NASGP BOB Locum Chambers I could now not be happier with every aspect of my professional life. I have incredible flexibility and have a great group of different GP practices to work with – including some who are happy to use me whenever I am available. I really enjoy and get a lot from our monthly meetings and the team makes my admin, invoicing and pension applications as straightforward as possible. I can truly say that I am in the tiny minority of GPs who love their job, have total control of my workload and have minimal stress, working only in great GP practices. I will happily remain with NASGP as long as I want to."

Dr Jonathan Moore, GP, North Oxfordshire

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