Monday, 1 December 2008

NHS gravy train drives six figure salaries

The Sunday Times has revealed that a ‘nurse consultant’ (nurses able to carry out minor operations) in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, earned over £100,000 last year thanks to overtime bonuses for helping to reduce hospital waiting lists.

And some proper consultants, one in Devon and Exeter and one in Greater Manchester for starters, are earning over £220,000 for the same heroic commitment to achieving the Government’s 18-week waiting list target.

This raises a number of questions.

The most obvious is how on earth can a nurse, even a nurse consultant, more than double her basic earnings (£50,000) through overtime? How many extra hours is she doing and what rate is she being paid for them? The same clearly applies to the consultants.

More fundamentally, if reducing waiting lists is a National Health Service target (and it has been ever since Labour took power in 1997) why is it necessary to pay people extra to do what they’re supposed to be doing in the first place?

The Government (chiefly former chancellor Gordon Brown and a succession of health ministers) has chucked countless extra billions at the NHS over the past few years and achieved precious little extra for it.

All that’s that’s happened is that consultants and general practitioners (neither of whom were underpaid) have been given monumental pay rises for doing the same job and further monumental bonuses if they do a bit more.

Some fortunate nurses (no doubt very capable) have also been given a second class ticket on this particular gravy train too, although the great majority of nurses (unlike GPs and consultants) remain underpaid.

I can feel a fever coming on, doctor.
Link to article here
NHS nurse takes home £100000 salary thanks to overtime