Miraj Patel, CEO of My Locum Choice – a pharmacist recruitment agency – said contractors have approached the company asking for advice on how much they could reduce locum pay rates by.
Mr Patel said My Locum Choice is “pragmatic” when responding to pharmacy owners, and will often barter for higher rates on behalf of locums because of the level of training the pharmacists on the company's books have.
But Mr Patel told C+D that locum pay rates have tumbled over the years. The average rate he observed 10 years ago was likely to be in the region of £30/hr, dropping to £22-£23/hr around five to six years ago, he said.
In 2016 the “gold standard” locum rate is now somewhere around £20/hr, he added. Rates have “dropped a lot”, and are unlikely to get higher any time soon, he warned.
Mr Patel spoke to C+D as part of its latest analysis exploring the issues locum pharmacists face, and comes after the C+D Salary Survey 2016 revealed average locum rates crashed from £24/hr in 2008 to £20.50/hr in 2015.
Data from C+D’s Salary Survey 2016, completed between October-December 2015 by 1,292 pharmacists, including 227 locums, also showed:
- 42% of locums felt they were under pressure from management in 2015
- 48% of locums said their workload was often unrealistic
- 41% of all pharmacists said they wanted to leave the profession.
Read the full analysis here, including exclusive statistics from the C+D Salary Survey 2016.