Wales’ prime-incomes locum physician was paid £183,000 in 2015-sixteen, based on new figures.
Aneurin Bevan College Well being Board had the very best and second highest-paid locum – at £159,000, BBC Wales discovered by way of a Freedom of Info request.
The whole spend on non-everlasting staff by the trusts and well being boards that responded rose from £64m to £137m (a 113% improve) since 2013-14.
British Medical Affiliation Cymru stated higher planning was “urgently wanted”.
NHS Wales Employers stated there was “all the time a requirement” for locums company employees to offer cowl and adaptability within the well being service.
The request for info requested all well being boards to listing their 5 highest-paid locums and their complete spend on non-everlasting docs and company staff in every of the final three years.
In 2015-sixteen, Betsi Cadwaladr’s highest paid locum acquired greater than £137,000, Powys Educating Well being Board’s acquired £116,000, whereas Velindre NHS Belief paid one locum £70,000 for the yr.
Hywel Dda College Well being Board refused to reveal how a lot its highest-incomes locum acquired.
Abertawe Bro Morgannwg College Well being Board, Cwm Taf and Cardiff and the Vale stated they didn’t maintain the knowledge.
The share of every well being boards’ labour spend that went on non-everlasting employees final yr ranged from three.sixty nine% (Powys Educating Well being Board) to six.31% (Betsi Cadwaladr).
BMA Cymru Wales Council chairman Dr Phil Banfield stated whereas issues recruiting docs contributed to the rise in locum spending, a few of it stemmed from “dangerous workforce practices and poor planning”.
“The attractiveness of a profession as a locum might be seen as a response to the unattractiveness of a everlasting place within the NHS at present, the place docs are coping with extreme workloads and a scarcity of flexibility over their working patterns,” he stated.
Dr Banfield stated Wales should not transfer away from utilizing short-term employees to cowl for workers sickness and peaks in demand, to an “over-reliance on locums overlaying posts”.
“We urgently want improved workforce planning by well being boards to make sure that medical care isn’t affected by physician shortages that might be foreseen and subsequently allowed for,” he added.
BMA Cymru Wales GP chairwoman Dr Charlotte Jones stated the figures confirmed practices have been “struggling to seek out cowl to plug the staffing gaps they face”.
“More and more, GP practices are dealing with longer-time period vacancies due to the recruitment issues gripping common follow,” she added.
She stated a current BMA survey confirmed that eighty two.1% of GPs have been apprehensive concerning the sustainability of their surgical procedures.
“We need to work with the Welsh Authorities to start addressing these points in order that sufferers have equitable entry to excessive-high quality providers throughout Wales.”
The spending on company employees is a symptom of the issues the NHS is dealing with in hiring, coaching and retaining its workforce.
Solely final week, the Royal School of Physicians warned of a “looming crisis” over recruitment and workload.
It additionally means monetary pressures.
The Well being Basis assume tank lately highlighted how this might even have a unfavourable influence on the NHS in making an attempt to keep its finances in order.
The Welsh Authorities has a campaign to make Wales a lovely place to reside and work for each GPs and hospital employees.
Not fixing the recruitment challenge leaves well being boards in a Catch 22 place.
In the event that they prohibit or management providers on the grounds of value they are going to be criticised by sufferers who worth these providers near their houses.
But when they spend on locums to fill the gaps in rotas they’ll equally be criticised by those that may ask whether it is public cash being properly spent.
However Richard Tompkins, director of NHS Wales Employers, stated there’s “all the time a requirement” for locums to work within the well being service.
“They’re used to cowl longer-time period gaps, when employees could also be off for maternity depart or lengthy-time period illness, or to ensure that we will keep protected providers when cowl is required at brief discover.
“Sustaining the standard of affected person care is our precedence and company and locum employees can present a vital means of accelerating staffing ranges to assist handle brief-time period peaks in demand.”
A spokesman for Aneurin Bevan College Well being Board: “We’ve an lively recruitment programme in place to fill vacancies within the well being board.
“We even have a variety of medical coaching initiative schemes with the Academy of Royal Medical Schools, that are designed to permit a small variety of docs to enter the UK from abroad for a most of 24 months earlier than they return to their residence nations.
“The figures offered in response to the Freedom of Info request included docs on fastened time period contracts used to switch substantive posts, or to cowl a urgent senior emptiness for durations of as much as one yr. As typically as potential these people are actively recruited into everlasting contracts.
“Wales-large elements resembling unfilled coaching posts in some specialties are presently leading to an elevated demand for brief time period advert hoc locum cowl, which is motion we have to take in an effort to proceed offering protected providers of the very best high quality.”
The Welsh Authorities stated it recognised there have been “actual challenges” across the recruitment and retention of some medical employees, however this was not “distinctive to Wales”.
A spokeswoman added: “We all know using company and locum employees has elevated throughout Wales, nevertheless they proceed to characterize a small proportion of our frontline well being employees.”
The Welsh Authorities is investing extra within the well being service now than ever earlier than – together with an additional £300m, in 2016-17, with an extra £265m of income funding deliberate for 2017-18, she added.
“We’re working with the NHS to deal with the use and price of utilizing company employees throughout NHS Wales and scale back general demand for company employees throughout all well being boards and trusts,” she stated.
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