Health boards in Scotland have been paying day rates of more than £1,000 for locum GPs, it was reported today.
The highest fee paid in 2016-17 was £1,400 for a doctor to spend a day in Orkney, according to figures obtained by Scottish Labour.
NHS Lanarkshire pay a day rate of £1,132, the figures show. In Ayrshire and Tayside boards paid day rates of more than £800.
Labour said it gathered the figures as part of a commission it has established on the NHS workforce. Health spokesman Anas Sarwar said the figures were “utterly shocking.”
He said: “Our NHS as a whole is in the grips of a workforce crisis. Labour’s workforce commission, made up of independent experts and health service staff, will examine solutions that deliver real change for our health service.”
A spokesman for Scotland’s new health secretary Jeane Freeman said: “Investment in our health service is currently at a record high, and we aim to increase the number of GPs by at least 800 over ten years to ensure a sustainable service that meets increasing demand.
“The new GP contract, backed by investment of £110m this year, will ensure GPs are able to spend more time with patients and less time on bureaucracy, helping to cut doctors’ workload.
“We are continuing to drive down the use of agencies and have been clear with Boards that they should only use agency as a last resort when temporary staff are required.”