Daily Mail

Don’t warn of walkouts, union boss tells doctors

- By Martin Beckford Policy Editor

A UNION rep has sparked outrage by encouragin­g doctors not to tell their NHS bosses when they go on strike, in the hope that they will still get paid.

Dr Arjan Singh told medics there is no legal requiremen­t to alert hospital managers.

He said industrial action has thrown payroll department­s into such chaos that doctors may not see their salaries docked.

It comes as thousands of junior medics stage a third strike day in support of British Medical Associatio­n demands for ‘full pay restoratio­n’, which would mean a huge 35 per cent rise.

Dr Singh, chairman of the BMA’s North Thames junior doctors committee, made his comments in a Twitter meeting in January. He said: ‘In 2016, the vast majority of doctors who were striking did get paid. When you go on strike, you don’t have to tell your department or hospital. In fact, we would encourage you not to tell them.’

Critics said this would mean wasted patient appointmen­ts as well as taking money from hardpresse­d health trusts. Tory MP Paul Bristow called the advice ‘completely unethical’.

When challenged, Dr Singh backed down, saying if doctors get paid ‘this needs to be on the basis of the employer being fully aware they took strike action’.

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