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Suffolk: Locum GPs being offered £1,000 a day to work in surgeries, prisons and walk-in centres in county

PUBLISHED: 12:00 19 April 2014

Rates of whopping cough soar in region

Rates of whopping cough soar in region

Health campaigners have voiced concern after it emerged GPs are being offered up to £1,000 a day for temporary work in Suffolk.

Positions in surgeries, prisons and walk-in centres within Suffolk have been advertised with a pay bracket of £500 to £1,000 a day.

The hours vary from sessions of between three and five hours each for general practices to between four and 10 hours at walk-in centres. Both posts could provide up to 10 sessions a week.

Annie Topping, chief executive of Healthwatch Suffolk, said: “There are so many competing priorities in healthcare provision and we all have an interest to make sure the limited resources are well spent.

“Ultimately it is the service providers that must ensure best use of the money that they receive to provide a high quality of care to patients.

“At Healthwatch Suffolk we have an interest in ensuring that patients are receiving good quality services and that a positive patient experience is at the heart of service delivery.

“Potentially the use of locums could impact on patient care and we would encourage anybody aware of problems with the services to get in touch.”

At prisons, GPs who have experience of dealing with substance misuse and a separate qualification in this field are preferred. These roles could involve night shift and weekend work, along with days lasting from 8am-8.30pm.

The advert was placed by a medical recruitment company which has previously said locum GPs would be lucky to get the highest rate offered and the wage bracket quoted was a guide for the sort of earnings that were available.

They added high-end wages would involve long hours every day and also depend on the nature of the work, how much notice was given and how long the position was for.

Dr Dan Poulter, health minister and MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, was unavailable for comment but has previously criticised such high locum salaries.

He said last year: “It’s a colossal amount of money and I can’t think there’s any justification for offering that amount of money to locum GPs whatsoever.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said yesterday: “There are over 1,000 more permanent GPs working in the NHS than in September 2010.

“It is up to General Practices to decide how best to use their resources to ensure staffing levels are appropriate.”

Witnesses to a crash in an Ipswich retail park, which has left an eight-year-old girl in hospital, are being asked to come forward.

A coroner has expressed concern that staff at a Suffolk holiday park are yet to be health and safety trained – more than 12 months after a girl drowned there.

Ed Sheeran will compete against friend Stormzy for this year’s Mercury Prize.

A mental health unit run by Essex Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (EPUT) has been awarded a prestigious accreditation.

A woman in her 70s has spoken of her “shock” after an alleged assault saw her knocked to the ground in the high street of a Suffolk town.

A Bury St Edmunds man has appeared in court after being charged in connection with two burglary incidents in the town within four days.

A group of travellers who had set up an unlawful camp on the West End Road car park in Ipswich have now moved on to the Bramford Lane Recreation ground in the north west of town.

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