An agency doctor was paid nearly half a million pounds by the NHS last year, according to a report.
New figures from an audit of temporary health service staff revealed that a general medicine locum was the highest paid doctor, earning £459,000 after working an average of 80 hours a week, The Daily Telegraph reported.
A locum paediatrician earned £320,000 for an average of 65 hours a week, while other agency doctors made £250,000 a year after working 40-hour weeks.
Radiologists were made as much as £150 an hour with doctors receiving up to £140 an hour to work in Accident and Emergency.
Dr Cliff Mann, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said the NHS had to pay high agency rates because of a lack of A&E doctors in the NHS.
“We have got desperate shortages of A&E doctors, with more and more turning away because they feel overworked, and burned out,” he said.
“That pushes the prices up and up, so we are stuck in a locums’ market, with hospitals forced into a bidding war.”
The annual figures were calculated based on payments by 40 NHS trusts in the first nine months of 2014/15.