The coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented demand on the NHS and has been an exceptionally difficult time for everyone. For NHS staff it’s particularly important to make sure you look after yourselves physically, mentally and financially during this trying period.
This page has been created to put together resources that might be helpful and relevant over the next few weeks and months.
Information for doctors and medical students
New doctors and medical students
Description of how a junior doctor’s salary is calculated. Final year medical students who are asked to step-up a few months early (FiY1 posts) should be paid on this pay scale.
Other things you should consider doing before starting work:
- Reading about how the NHS Pension works. You will be automatically enrolled once you start working, but it’s worth knowing and making an informed choice about what you’re paying towards!
- Consider joining the BMA for advice and support.
- Ensuring your medical indemnity is up to date (with either the MDU or MPS).
- Apply for provisional registration with the GMC.
- Record the above transactions and apply to have your income tax refunded on them, along with other expenses from starting work.
- Check your salary using our pay calculator, to see how much you can plan to take home.
- Consider setting up an ISA to keep the money you’ve saved.
- Read up on general advice around earning, saving and investing, and have a look at the basics checklist.
Current doctors: how will my salary be affected?
If you are a doctor currently working in the NHS and have had your work schedule, duties or rotations changed due to the pandemic, see the NHS Employers & BMA statement on contractual protections document. Key points to note are:
- You should receive a new work schedule for your new rotation or placement, and should be paid according to this work schedule. You can use the pay calculator to check your expected salary following a new work schedule and rota.
- Note that the pay calculator will not accurately reflect changes to your work schedule that involve working extremely high weekend frequencies (> 1 in 2 weekends), as seen in some emergency coronavirus rotas. How this pay is determined is currently being managed by your local trust and Junior Doctors’ Committee (JDC). The pay calculator on our website should be used to determine an absolute minimum of your expected salary, but your true salary could well be higher based on what is decided at your trust.
- You should not receive a lower salary due to changes in your work schedule or placement, and should receive at least as much as you were due prior to this change. This is because the national junior doctors’ contract states that no doctor should suffer financial detriment due to unexpected changes to their work schedule.
Current doctors: annual leave
Many doctors will have had annual leave cancelled or blocked due to emergency coronavirus rotas. Now that de-escalation plans are underway in various trusts, all doctors should be encouraged to take remaining annual leave before starting a new rotation in August/September.
Sometimes, this may not be possible, and your employer may not be able to facilitate everyone taking all of their remaining leave. If this happens, you may be asked to take payment in lieu of your annual leave.
There has not yet been an agreed rate at which these annual leave days should be paid. Currently, this is being determined at the trust level. Some doctors may expect locum rates for these days, but this is not often in line with what the trusts expect to pay.
Until there has been some definitive agreement as to what rate these leave days should be paid at, some basic logical principles should apply:
- Doctors should not be forced to take payment in lieu of annual leave if the staffing levels allow for annual leave to be taken.
- Doctors should not be forced to come to an agreement now, about how untaken annual leave will be paid later (if this does happen).
- A day of annual leave should not be calculated as being 8 hours long, as many doctors’ standard working days are longer than 8 hours. It could be argued that a standard working day is equivalent to the number of average weekly hours, divided by 5 working days.
- A day’s salary should not be calculated as being 1/365th of an annual salary, as generally, doctors do not work 365 days of the year.
This site will be updated if a definitive way of managing the above is determined.
Refunds on cancelled travel and events
Many journeys using public transport will have been cancelled during the pandemic, especially flights. Events involving large groups of people such as concerts, sports matches and festivals have almost universally been cancelled or postponed.
Most event organisers will email you to explain how you can claim a refund if applicable. If they haven’t, get in touch with them to request this information.
The majority of rail booking companies (such as Trainline and TrainSplit) as well as most individual operators are offering refunds on travel booked for the lockdown period if it was booked before lockdown began. Check their websites for more information on how to claim a refund.
Refund policies from flight operators are more variable and the exact policy will depend on the individual airline. Many airlines are offering travel vouchers as opposed to cash refunds. If this doesn’t suit you, consider claiming back on your travel insurance if you have it. If you booked on credit card, you can also consider making a Section 75 claim.
Resources and links
BMA guidance on changes to rotas and working conditions.
GMC advice for doctors and medical students.
Health Education England resources and guidance on rotations, recruitment and training.
Foundation Programme news and information regarding coronavirus, including advice on ARCP.
Financial support, offers and ideas
Various mortgage lenders and banks are offering support in the form of mortgage payment holidays, credit card payment holidays and interest-free overdrafts.
Free BMA membership until October 2020.
Consider helping companies with cash flow, by buying sale items you’ll be having to purchase in the future – like mattresses!
NHS England have kindly posted a page of current offers to support NHS staff.
Well and Resilient Doctors (WARD) support page.
40% discount at Bloom & Wild for NHS staff to purchase flowers and plants.
Feedback, questions and other resources are welcomed – please get in touch!