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Junior doctors voice problems with pay as complaints to BMA shoot up

Junior doctors have this week complained about problems with pay, as the BMA reported a 26% rise in the number of queries about these issues.

The figure went up from 2,300 in August last year to 2,900 this year, and the BMA stated that this rise is likely because of trusts around the country adjusting to the 2016 contract.

Most frequently raised queries by junior doctors centred on contract checks, questions about the new contract and pay issues. Some members also reported being given the wrong pay protection by their trusts during the final week of August.

Difficulties with receiving correct pay are more prominent with juniors as doctors in training work on a rotational basis, which can result in frequent changes in employer.

Dr Jeeves Wijesuriya, chair of the BMA’s junior doctors committee, said it was unacceptable to see so many doctors across the country reporting pay problems.

“There have been reports from many junior doctors up and down the country that they have not been paid correctly, and I have heard first-hand how, in many cases, these problems have resulted from issues with transitioning to the new contract,” he said.

“Doctors work incredibly hard to sustain our NHS and provide good quality care to their patients sacrificing many aspects of their personal lives.

“In return, they are, at the very least, entitled to receive the correct amount of pay for the work they do.”

Dr Wijesuriya added that although the 2016 contract included clauses specifically designed to protect doctors from cuts to pay when switching, it was disappointing to learn that for many the transition had not been a smooth or straightforward one with staff with family and financial commitments even being asked to wait a further month to be paid.

“I would urge all employers to work and communicate with those doctors who have experienced problems to speedily resolve any issues around underpayment,” he stated.

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