Pay rates vary greatly. To get an idea of the usual pay rate for your area you can ask other locums, compare what agencies are offering and speak to the practice as to what their usual rates are and then negotiate. Guidance on how to set rates of pay can be found at

During these negotiations, it is worth factoring in:

  • Getting your NHS pension employer contribution paid by the practice
  • How many patients you are expected to see
  • Separate cost for admin time (e.g. signing prescriptions, reviewing letters, etc.)
  • Separate cost for home visits

Locum agency pay rates tend to be lower than if you are booked directly, as agencies will take their cut. Their rates won't normally be negotiable.

How much should I charge?

If you book work directly with a practice, you can work at an hourly rate, sessional or on-call rate. Your pension contribution is usually added on top of this, but discuss this with the practice.

 clock  diary  phone
Hourly rate
This fee is agreed for a
specific duration of work; for
example, £85/hr plus pension
contribution for three hours
work from 9am-12pm. Any
additional work on top of
these hours (visits, signing
prescriptions, seeing extra
patients, etc.) is charged extra.
Sessional rate
This fee is agreed for a
set amount of work; for
example, £250 for a morning
session from 9am-1pm. The
session may be made up of a
fifteen-patient surgery, two
home visits, plus admin time
to sign prescriptions or do
telephone triage.
On call/duty doctor
This is usually paid as a set
fee for the amount of time
a practice require you; for
example, £520 for the day.
It will involve a mixture of
telephone triage, seeing
patients, signing prescriptions
and dealing with blood results,
admin and home visits.