• 33 junior doctors awarded total of £210,000 in backdated pay
  • BMA says trusts must act on staffing concerns promptly
  • Shift rotas “failed to provide sufficient rest”

The British Medical Association has said a case where junior doctors have been awarded over £200,000 in backdated pay should send a “clear message” to other trusts to act on staffing concerns promptly.

The union announced last week that £210,000 in backdated pay has been secured for junior doctors at Cambridge University Hospitals Foundation Trust.

The pay was awarded to 33 junior doctors after their rotas “failed to provide sufficient rest”, the BMA said.

Jeeves Wijesuriya, chair of the BMA junior doctors’ committee, told HSJ while the union welcomes doctors receiving the backdated pay, the trust should have recognised the problem and invested in improved staffing in the first place.

Dr Wijesuriya said: “We hope it sends a clear message to trusts that when concerns are raised they must be acted on promptly.

“Junior doctors often work long and intense hours, and they must feel empowered to speak up when this is pushed beyond safe limits.”

The BMA launched a banding appeal with junior doctors at CUH in July relating to the banding of the core medical training rota at Addenbrooke’s Hospital between February and August 2017.

The BMA questioned the trust’s 1A banding of the rota and argued the doctors working on it were receiving their breaks less than 75 percent of the time, meaning they should be reclassed as band three. The pay band determines the supplement junior doctors are paid in addition to their basic salary.

Under the 2002 contract, posts are banded through monitoring exercises to ensure that pay accurately reflects hours being worked.

Dr Wijesuriya said: “The band monitoring process was designed to give trusts a financial incentive to address such situations before they became an issue, by making sure rotas were adequately staffed.”