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Senior hospital doctors prescribe adequate staffing as cure to growing overtime bill

The Hospital Consultants & Specialists Association, the only TUC-affiliated professional association and trade union dedicated solely to senior hospital doctors, has responded today to a BBC story detailing rising overtime payments to doctors in the NHS.

HCSA Chief Executive Eddie Saville said: “The headline figures of a few individuals’ overtime may be eye-catching, but a growing NHS pay bill for senior doctors working beyond their contracted hours is an indication of the folly of long-term understaffing in our hospitals.

“Taken alongside record agency costs to plug thousands of vacancies, it betrays a short-term approach to pay, terms and conditions that has seen morale plummet.

“Part of the cure will be found in creating a culture where hospitals are enabled to employ the correct number of permanent staff for the job without fear of being punished.

“This means NHS Improvement’s new focus on measuring overstaffing, backed up by the threat of fines, is unhelpful to say the least.”