If you work as a (technical term incoming) "ward bitch" in a private hospital you apparently can apparently earn~£42,000 to ~£65,000
, including accommodation. Better than what is available in the NHS. However, there will be no opportunities for training or career progression, and the job would be pretty uninteresting. These jobs tend to be filled on a short-term basis, usually by doctors from abroad. If you develop a good private practice as a consultant (a lot of work, which only a minority of doctors achieve) you can earn considerably more, though this is becoming less attractive by the year for a variety of reasons.
Private insurance is nice for straightforward, planned stuff, but if you have a complex or emergency problem then you want to be in the NHS every time.
Okay, I'm totally lost now
I thought half the reason for the strikes was because doctors would be on less than they are now, because OT payments were becoming regular day payments. If there's actually very little OT, then where's the issue? Aside from not wanting to work weekends, that is.
Sorry for confusion - there's been a lot of explanations in the media using words like "overtime" that don't actually exist in medicine, which I've been mixing in and complicating things. I will explain from the beginning as things currently stand.
- All junior doctors are employed on a contract for 40 standard 9-5 hours per week, paid at their 'basic salary'.
- This is multiplied by a 'banding' depending on how many hours beyond this you work, and how unsocial they are (e.g. nights, weekends). For most people this will be 1.3-1.5.
- On top of this, most doctors will be doing lots of extra hours - e.g. coming in early and leaving late because it's necessary to safely care for their patients. These are not recognised or paid in any way unless the volume of work is so systematically extreme that you ask HR to monitor your working patterns (and then manage to avoid the various ways they try to circumvent this actually happening).
The new contract is intending to change to a system where your basic salary is topped up based on how many actual unsocial hours your rota is designed to include (not how many you actually work). This by itself is not a bad thing - it means pay will correlate more closely to workload. The bit everyone is furious about is that Saturday is to be considered a normal day - so no top up for any hours worked on this day. This will have the effect of firstly pay decreasing, and secondly a greater proportion of Saturday's being worked, as explained.
It's starting to sound very much like the catering industry, tbh. I used to do masses of free overtime, just to get the job done. I never quite realised how stupid that was at the time, and how I should've stood my ground and made them pay me more or just work to rule. Too young, too naive. What would happen if doctors started working to rule? I mean, not necessarily for the emergency stuff as people would just end up dying and no-one would do that, but what the day to day stuff? That would seem like an efficient way to get the point across.
The problem is there is little day-to-day stuff that people are staying late to sort out that would be safe to not do. I think work to rule is a far more dangerous form of industrial action for us than an all out strike.