Rates of pay for SWAH locum doctors are revealed

THE RATES of pay for locum doctors at the South West Acute Hospital have been revealed. The highest paid locum consultant received over £150 per hour in 2019.
The hourly rates for locum doctors working at the local hospital were revealed following a Freedom of Information request by the Fermanagh Herald.
The average hourly rates for locum doctors based at SWAH over the last year varied depending on the doctors role.
A breakdown of pay rates per hour are as follows: Consultant £113.49, speciality doctor £80, speciality trainee year 3, £74.26, core trainee years 1/2 £68.88, speciality trainee years 1/2 £66.19.
The highest rate paid during the last year was to a Locum Consultant of £151 per hour. The current rate highest is £130 per hour.
The Herald previously queried the percentage of doctors based at SWAH classified as locum. It was disclosed that close to one fifth of doctors (19%) are locum.
This winter the Trust also explained there was a heavy reliance on locum doctors for the provision of healthcare not just in the Western Trust but across the North as a whole.
Enniskillen Councillor Donal O’Cofaigh referred to the percentage of locum doctors at SWAH as “not just a question of wasted resources” but added, “it offers an easy target for those seeking to argue for the unsustainability of services at the hospital”.
He pointed out that overall reliance on locums at SWAH is “not significantly greater” than other areas.
“All the same, we need to see action to reduce expenditure on locums and agency staffing as the costs of such employment are considerably higher than what would be needed to provide the same cover and services through direct employment.
“Affording equal pay to NHS workers in Northern Ireland would be a primary action needed to substantially reduce reliance on locums.”
Cllr O’Cofaigh said he has raised repeatedly the need to be imaginative with additional ‘rural’ payments for healthcare workers here which could tackle any geographical obstacles to recruitment and retention.
Recruitment efforts continue. In recent weeks a spokesman for the Western Trust explained there is engagement in an international recruitment campaign. To date 119 doctors have been recruited in total.

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