Suffolk: The GPs who are paid up to £1,200 a day

Medical stethoscope

Medical stethoscope - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Doctors’ jobs in Suffolk are being advertised for the equivalent of more than £300,000 a year, the East Anglian Daily Times can reveal today.

According to an online job advert for part-time GPs in Suffolk, a salary of up to £1,200 per day is available for a locum working in surgery, walk-in centres and prisons.

Dr Dan Poulter, junior health minister and MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, criticised the salary saying there is “no justification” for it.

“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,” he said.

“You can understand in emergency situations with staff off sick that you may have to pay premium rate but there’s no excuse for this amount.

“Many GPs in Suffolk will be rightly outraged to see that money is being offered for temporary work at a rate much higher than they are paid which is unacceptable.

“The NHS body responsible for this advert needs to be taken to task and held responsible for what is not a good use of NHS money and resources.”

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The advert, offered by Mode Medical Recruitment LLP, offers pay of between £500 and £1,200 a day for requirements such as up to five-hour sessions of general practice surgery and possible on-call visits and four to 10-hour sessions at walk-in centres.

Locum GPs with experience in substance misuse are needed for sessions within prisons with hours between 8am and 8.30pm, weekend work and night shifts.

Michael Saggers, managing director at Mode Medical Recruitment LLP, said: “£1,200 is ridiculously high and you would be very lucky to get something like that but if you did you would have to work hard with long hours every day. It all depends on what the work is, how much notice is given and how long it’s for.

“Hourly GP rates can be anything from £70 up to £100 for those working in walk-in centres and prisons where you would earn more because it’s danger money.”

A British Medical Association spokesman said GP locums provide a valuable contribution to the NHS by replacing unwell staff at short notice or provided additional support.

“GP locum rates for short term posts vary substantially dependent on the set of skills needed, the number of hours required and the type of work being undertaken,” he added.

“Extremely high paying posts are rare.

“Like many NHS staff, locums are facing a squeeze on their earnings.

“The Government has recently introduced measures that will see spiralling pension and appraisal costs that will significantly reduce locum income.”

An Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) spokesman confirmed that CCGs do not employ locum GPs.