29th June 2016

Doctors Demand to lift Locum Pay Caps

The Government was asked to eliminate the imprudent pay caps for locums, as it threatens more staffing crisis and doctors’ livelihoods. The doctors have taken a rage over the changed new caps, calling it as an insult to the professions.

According to Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, in December the new cap rates were introduced to cut down the escalating cost of agency staff whereas the BMA Annual Representative Meeting (ARM) called it was because of the lack of resources in the NHS.

Tom Micklewright, a Chester GP trainee, spoke about the locum and pay rates at the ARM. He alleged the new locum cap rates are disgrace as it should be flexible enough to reflect the need and urgency. He valued more of locum as the active and fulfilling career options. Furtherance, the new cap rates are death knell while it has worsen rota gaps, stretched care department and exhausted juniors being pressurized into covering the uncoverable.

He complained after being at the ARM he received many desperate overwhelming gaps offers and said escalating locum costs are the consequences not a cause for the struggling NHS.

Russell Walshaw, retired Yorkshir GP supported Dr Micklewright’s argument.

He said in the crisis, hospitals and GPs would collapse without locums, they worth’s a premium. They soothe staffing for healthcare providers. As per the Government’s policy of a free market, the cap locum fees are entitled to set their own fees just like a self-employed doctor.

He added BMA reported that last year the health service bill for agency staff rose more than half a billion pounds, despite Mr Hunt claiming a ‘level-out’ expenses.

He emphasized on last years agency bill where hospitals spent an extra £545m in comparison to its previous financial year. The total agency bill cost £3.64bn, a more than a third higher than the sum set for that cost by NHS finance chiefs.

The BMA council chair Mark Porter spoke of the Government’s high spending on locums is because of the mismanagement of the NHS. He added the change in cap is the wrong response for the escalation in agency cost and lack of resources is the main problem at the hour.

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