Department of Health written question – answered on 24th March 2017.

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Photo of Richard Graham Richard Graham Conservative, Gloucester

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the cost of employing locum doctors in the NHS in (a) Gloucestershire, (b) the South West and (c) England has been for each of the last five years.

Photo of Philip Dunne Philip Dunne The Minister of State, Department of Health

Agency spending by staff group is not collected centrally.

My Rt. hon. Friend the Secretary of State introduced a series of radical measures to bring agency spending back under control in 2015. The measures are working - as of Quarter 3 2016-17, the National Health Service had spent £500 million less than at the same point last year.

NHS Improvement recently wrote to trusts outlining a series of additional measures to curb spending on medical locums, including increased transparency of rates paid to highest earners, improved managerial oversight, and work with Royal Colleges to bring locums into the substantive workforce.

Data on agency spending is not currently collected by city or standard regions, but acute trusts in Gloucestershire fall under the NHS England South region. An up-to-date list of these trusts is available at:


The latest national list of best and worst performers on agency spending is available at:


Regarding general practitioners (GPs), Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group is not aware of any local issues with locum doctor costs. GP practices have been asked to record annually the number of times a locum doctor is paid more than the indicative maximum rate of £80.01 per hour set by NHS England, starting in 2016/17, for which the data is not yet available.

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