A&E locum costs 'soar 60% in three years'

The cost of paying temporary doctors to work at accident and emergency units in England increased by 60% in three years as hospitals struggle to find permanent staff, the BBC reports.

Locum doctors can earn £1,500 a shift.

Information obtained by the Labour Party through Freedom of Information Requests showed that spending on locums was £83.3 million last year, a rise from £52 million in 2009-10, the BBC said.

Agency doctors are employed for almost one in 10 consultant shifts and up to one in six more junior posts, the figures reveal.

A locum can earn £1,500 a shift, more than four times what it would cost to employ a permanent doctor in the same role.