Responding to an article in The Telegraph stating that the NHS is paying locum doctors £4,000 per shift, DAUK’s Dr Rinesh Parmar responded with a letter which was published in The Telegraph.
SIR – Your report, “Hospitals paying locum doctors record sums of £4,000 per shift”, cites the current pensions crisis affecting senior doctors.
It is fair to say that this additional form of taxation is influencing many NHS doctors’ decision not to accept extra work, although waiting lists in England are increasing and winter is approaching. However, this entirely avoidable situation is a direct consequence of the pension taxation policies of HM Treasury.
Patient safety remains the primary concern of doctors, who are often working on understaffed rotas and covering the positions of colleagues who have left or retired. With adequate investment in recruitment and retention, however, the system would be able to meet the demands of patients and not be “held to ransom” by a reliance on locums.
There has been ample time to remedy the situation and address the concerns of NHS staff and patients. The Government must now pay more than lip service to the pensions crisis, and work constructively towards retaining its highly trained and dedicated NHS workforce.
The letter can be found here: