If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume you’re happy to receive all cookies from the BMA website. Find out more about cookies
When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalised web experience.
Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.
These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms.
You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.
These cookies are required
These cookies allow us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information we collect is anonymous unless you actively provide personal information to us.
If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.
These cookies allow a website to remember choices you make (such as your user name, language or the region you're in) and tailor the website to provide enhanced features and content for you.
For example, they can be used to remember certain log-in details, changes you've made to text size, font and other parts of pages that you can customise. They may also be used to provide services you've asked for such as watching a video or commenting on a blog. These cookies may be used to ensure that all our services and communications are relevant to you. The information these cookies collect cannot track your browsing activity on other websites.
Without these cookies, a website cannot remember choices you've previously made or personalise your browsing experience meaning you would have to reset these for every visit. In addition, some functionality may not be available if this category is switched off.
Our websites sometimes integrate with other companies’ sites. For example, we integrate with social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, to make it easier for you to share what you have read. These sites place their own cookies on your browser as a result of us including their icons and ‘like’ or ‘share’ buttons on our sites.
Ever since the phrase "locum cap" has been used by the department of health and NHS employers, sessional GPs have been waiting for our turn. We have seen the impact a locum cap has had on our hospital colleagues, and on patients as hospitals have been unable to cover locum shifts. The next few weeks will see practices being asked to submit data on how much they have paid locums.
Key things you need to know. 1) This is compulsory - NHSE has included it as part of the mandatory e-reporting all practices have to do, so contractually they don't have a choice. 2) It will be a retrospective data collection for the months of July, August and September. There is no need to alter what you do or what employing practices do. 3) NHSE have used the average salaried GP pay range to work out an "indicative hourly rate". It's a fairly randomly allocated bar of £80:01 per hour 4) A Practice will be asked a single question "how many times in this period did you pay more than the indicative rate per hour to a locum?" Now there are, undoubtedly, lots of issues here, but least is how the indicative rate has been arrived at, and whether a single question on hourly rate will gather sufficient accurate data to be meaningfully interpreted. However, the two obvious questions are what will NHSE do with this data, and what effect will it have on you as a sessional doctor? NHSE tell us they will use this data to map out areas where locum demand is particularly high and identify where extra help is needed. It should have no impact on what rate is agreed between locums and practices. This is not a cap. It is a data collection exercise. It's important we are clear about that. You'll forgive my cynicism about what happens next, and how this information gives us any more detailed information compared to what we already have. Needless to say, we will be at the table with NHSE looking at these figures and results. We will be reminding them what a significant part of the workforce sessional doctors are, and that in the current precarious position of the NHS, they would do well to remember this. Zoe Norris is chair of the sessional GP subcommittee.
Follow her on Twitter @dr_zo
It is indeed very reassuring to know that you @dr_zo [email protected] will be there at the table when these figures are discussed.. Thank you for explaining. Sian Mew gp locum
Why oh why Zoe have you called this a 'locum cap'.? As if putting it in quotes means you didn't mean it. It just means it's now going to be widely quoted as a cap, both in the press and by practice managers, meaning as a locum, for potentially years, this is going to be thrown in our faces. Once Pulse and the like get hold of this, 'locum cap' will be in the headline, and not in quotes.
There are so many ways BMA could have covered this, but this one holds the worst outcome for us jobbing locums. And to who's advantage? Oh, the employing practices. Hmmm.
So, locum GPs once again screwed by the BMA/GPC. It's not the government that are calling this a Locum cap, it's the GPC. The GPC is run by GP partners. Is this just the GPC hijacking this story, and making it into a story, to force Locum rates down?
Thanks for the comments - I didn't title the blog and have asked the online team to change the title to the correct "indicative rate".
Despite reiterating both in this piece and verbally, it has been reported in the press as a locum cap and probably will continue to be which sadly I can't control - Zoe.
It's a bit late now to change the title because pulse have already quoted it!
What a total GPC b***s up.
You can control because you wrote the article and you chair the committee. Seriously, if you don't have control over your own blog posts, how can you exert control of a subcommittee of a sub committee?
Thanks for the feedback, we've amended this headline now
So: I am a salaried GP and work a 6 hour locum - £480.06 ; after NI and Tax , GMC and Medical defence fees, subs to professional bodies -( BMA and RCGP), I will go home with £37.85 - enough to pay for petrol and buy tea at Tesco
the interesting bit here is that locum rates are calculated - at least in my case - on direct patient contact. The first thing in my mind, apart from being in the enviable position to decide for what fee do I work, is that my 'contract' will change: CPD will be included, breaks will be included, admin for referrals and other tasks will be included, etc. I have no problem working at £80 per hour, but 1 hour will no longer mean seeing 6 patients; also, indemnity (as hospital locums have crown indemnity ad we don't) and illness insurance may have to be invoiced as extras (as they are not part of the basic salary for employed staff). so this may be quite a lot of fun... :-/
The data collection probably will not take account of the fact that most sessional GPs give more hours than charged for I.e £100 charged per hour for 4hours but in reality 5-6 hours may have been provided which in reality is closer to £80per hour anyway. So on paper locum rates will appear artificially higher than the reality as above. The figure of £80 per hr is also unrealistic in terms of pension needs and Medicolegal fees
Great blog Zoe. Its not easy coming into a committee straight into the top at a time when BMA/GPC are undergoing so many changes. Your media skills will be really valuable and your leadership shows great promise, in the way you engage everyone, and keep everyone in the loop. Good to have you at the helm.
Yes, remember that a salaried GP will have paid annual leave, study leave and sick leave, indemnity and some subscriptions. Locums fill gaps and help. They are well worth £80/hour.
@ Nigel: Making this kind of statements is not going to help our cause. Based on working 5 days/week 47 weeks/year and redristibuting income to cover for the 5 weeks annual leave £480/day should leave you with £250-£270 take home pay. Whether this is enough to reflect our degree of competence and the value of the service we provide is a different discussion, but if we try to tell someone that we have costs of £440/day we'll just be a laughing stock.
Well said Zoe, in your thought provoking blog. The limit of £80 per hour for every locum GP is imminent. What you said in an academic style, "Pulse Today" has put it in their journalistic language, in an eye catching way for readers, but they are showing respect to you and the BMA. The politicians put everything in a NICE way; e.g. they sack a doctor by promoting them with a higher salary or replacing them with a pharmacist or a physician assistant. They are very skilled in reducing patient services by increasing "Patient Power" and training them how to criticise and complain against doctors. The Care Quality Commission makes surgeries, they visit, to display "How to complain" posters in waiting rooms. They are even running workshops to train them in "what to look for?". It is a thunder storm in the NHS. I hope Locum and other GPs escape the lightening, which may strike often. While academics deal with qualities, politicians deal with realities. At present there is a national financial crisis. Politics, economics and law have as much to do with patient care as medicine. Every one is right in the roles they are playing. Nevertheless, negotiation would produce better results than confrontation. Take care. Dr Bashir Qureshi FRCGP, FRCPCH, AFOM-RCP, Hon FFSRH-RCOG, Hon FRSPH. London.