NHS trusts are losing staff to surrogate agencies offering up to five times hourly wage in what has been called a “flop” by Tories.
Frustrated by the ‘inadequate’ salary and worsening working conditions, several doctors, dubbed ‘medfluencers’, have spoken out on social media about temporary work.
Videos published in Tik Tok detail why doctors, fresh out of training, are leaving their permanent positions with the NHS.
“Attention all healthcare assistants, nurses and doctors,” Jamie Livingstone wrote.
‘Tired of working lots of strenuous shifts? Do you want to work less, earn more and be flexible? Substitute work is the way.
“I specialize in understudy work for all healthcare professionals in the NHS, follow me for more advice.”
Meanwhile, a medical student shared the payroll of a doctor who earned more than £17,000 a month when working for a sourcing agency, compared to the NHS salary of £2,600 a month.
A senior medical student, who did not want to be named, told the daily mail he was ‘100% going to substitute after training’.
“First of all, the money rates are much better, but that’s not the main reason,” he said.
‘It’s for the freedom to choose your own hours, to choose where you work and when you work.
“We see doctors posting videos talking about their burnout all the time, and there are so many jobs out there, the NHS is always short staffed so there will always be filling jobs.”
Locum agencies specialize in the placement of medical staff on a temporary and permanent basis, and chief health officers shelled out £3bn on their services in 2021.
They have stepped into the spotlight when young doctors are ready to retire, joining ambulance workers and nurses in strikes for wages.
Earlier this year, a survey by the British Medical Association (BMA) showed that half of hospital doctors plan to leave the NHS in the next 12 months.
Nearly one in 10 (9%) said they planned to leave the profession for a new career, and 57% have considered leaving the country or have already left to work abroad.
And 63% of doctors said they considered or started a locum job to ease the pressures of the job.
Labor MP Wes Streeting responded to the findings: “The failure of the Conservatives to train enough staff has left the NHS vulnerable to scam prices from recruitment agencies.”
People have also come to the defense of health care personnel who choose to take the fill-in job.
“Doctor and nurse shortage brought on by 12 years of pay cuts pushing staff out of the profession en masse causes temporary agency rates to skyrocket,” one Twitter user wrote.
‘This is really basic cause and effect. Either you support the NHS staff strike for fair wages, or you accept higher surrogate and agency fees.
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