GPs paid whacking £1650 for Christmas and New Year’s Day shift
Author: Marion Scott, 07 January 2018
Health Secretary Shona Robison
FAMILY doctors earned up to £1650 per day for working over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The rates were agreed between doctors and health boards, and saw GPs earning up to £170 an hour.
The payments are in addition to their regular salaries, which now average £90,000 a year.
Last night, GPs were accused of “holding the NHS to ransom” by nurses who get as little as £18.32 an hour for working over the festive period.
In the Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board area, where doctors provided up to 12 hours cover on Christmas day, they were paid up to £148 an hour. Lanarkshire paid 21 GPs £170 an hour to cover Christmas Day, and 41 to cover New Year at £150 an hour.
Glasgow paid 114 GPs £148 an hour to cover Christmas Day.
NHS Ayrshire & Arran paid between £138 and £168 per hour, with 33 GPs working on Christmas Day and 44 at New Year. GPs in the Highlands were lowest paid, from £120 an hour to £58 in rural areas.
Scotland has a predicted shortfall of more than 800 family practitioners. Now some health boards are putting extra measures in place to cope with flu and winter bugs – with consequent extra costs.
NHS Lanarkshire is asking almost half of GPs to open Saturday mornings throughout January to cope with the unprecedented demand, while Fife has increased staffing at out-of-hours centres, and Glasgow’s eight GP hubs have restricted staff holidays. NHS Lothian and NHS Tayside are increasing out-of-hours GP cover.
Irenee O’Neill, of the Independent Federation of Nurses, said: “GPs are simply holding the NHS to ransom.”