Almost 600 locums were questioned on their working patterns and rates of pay, with 49 per cent reporting a fall in demand for their services over the past year.
The same percentage complained that rates of pay had remained static, reflecting the pay cuts sustained by established GPs over recent years.
The survey of 595 locums across the UK, many of whom are young, newly-qualified GPs, revealed widespread discontent at the lack of work, falling pay, and limited career opportunities.
Average gross annual income varies dramatically across England, with locums in London earning as much as £130,000 compared with £48,000 in the North East.
Rates of pay per day ranged from £280 in the South East to £700 in the West Midlands.
Many GPs are doing locum work due to a lack of partnerships and because there is nothing else available. GPs complained of a ‘two-tier system' where partners paid salaried GPs or locums inconsistently.
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