Junior doctors urged to pick up lucrative locum shifts by union


Junior doctors urged to pick up lucrative locum shifts by union to make back their lost salary as NHS tries to recover from chaos caused by 96-hour strike

  • Locum shifts cost the taxpayer £3billion last year and are a popular option 
  • The BMA is telling its 45,000 junior members to ‘plan extra locum shifts now’

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Junior doctors are being encouraged by their union to pick up lucrative locum shifts after this week’s 96-hour strike action when hospitals will be in chaos.

The British Medical Association has advised junior doctors to make back the salary they will lose from striking and ‘plan extra locum shifts now’ for ‘just before and after the strike days when there will be plenty of work to do’.

Locum shifts, which cost the taxpayer £3billion last year, are an increasingly popular option for NHS bosses to plug rota gaps in hospitals across the country. 

Last year, the Mail revealed that junior doctors are leaving NHS staff jobs in droves for locum work and earning – in some cases – up to £17,000-a-month.

In an online guide for activists, the BMA is telling its 45,000 junior members: ‘Employers will offer locum shifts for the strike days. If you can, we suggest you do not cover these days as it could undermine the action.

The British Medical Association has advised junior doctors to make back the salary they will lose from striking. Pictured: Striking junior doctors at Homerton Hospital in Hackney on March 14 The British Medical Association has advised junior doctors to make back the salary they will lose from striking. Pictured: Striking junior doctors at Homerton Hospital in Hackney on March 14

The British Medical Association has advised junior doctors to make back the salary they will lose from striking. Pictured: Striking junior doctors at Homerton Hospital in Hackney on March 14

Locum shifts, which cost the taxpayer £3billion last year, are an increasingly popular option for NHS bosses to plug rota gaps in hospitals across the country Locum shifts, which cost the taxpayer £3billion last year, are an increasingly popular option for NHS bosses to plug rota gaps in hospitals across the country

Locum shifts, which cost the taxpayer £3billion last year, are an increasingly popular option for NHS bosses to plug rota gaps in hospitals across the country

‘Instead plan locum shifts elsewhere in the month and perhaps just before and after the strike days when there will be plenty of work to do.’ 

But Tory MP Sir John Hayes said: ‘It would be completely unacceptable to take time off to strike and then make the money up later by locuming. That’s poor advice and the BMA is being irresponsible.

‘Locums play an important part in the service but it shouldn’t compensate those who have been on strike. I think most doctors would acknowledge that the money should be put into patient care.’

A spokesman for the BMA said: ‘Junior doctors lose pay when they take industrial action so taking on additional shifts is a way that they can make up for some of these losses.’ 

The BMA is also providing a minimum hourly ‘rate card’ for junior doctors, with rates ranging from £62 per hour up to £154 per hour based on experience and shift.

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