Harrogate District Hospital spent almost £1 million on staff cover during industrial action
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Nurses, junior doctors, consultants and paramedics are among the hospital workers who have gone on strike this year over pay and conditions.
Harrogate and NHS District Foundation Trust’s board met in Harrogate last week when its chief executive Jonathan Coulter discussed what impact the strikes have had at the Lancaster Park Road hospital.
He said: “The next strike will be the seventh wave for junior doctors and the fourth wave for consultants – 2,000 appointments have been cancelled and it’s cost £1m to cover the strikes.”
After the meeting, a trust spokesperson confirmed the figure spent so far on staff cover is £923,000 during the period from April until August.
Following an independent pay review, consultants have been offered a 6 per cent rise and junior doctors an average of 8.8 per cent, depending on their level.
But the amount being offered is far below what the BMA is calling for.
Junior doctors are asking for a 35 per cent pay rise and consultants are believed to want a 12 per cent rise.
According to the BBC, it has been 100 days since health secretary Steve Barclay and the BMA have met to discuss pay.
Mr Barclay has argued the pay offer is “fair” and that the strikes are harming patient safety.
Harrogate hospital chief Mr Coulter urged both sides to come to an agreement as he said the impasse continues to have a “real impact on our services”.
He added: “Sadly there’s no signs of the strikes ending and we desperately need the government and the BMA to sort this out.”
Professor Phil Banfield, chair of council at BMA, said: “We want to be serving our patients.
"But without the staffing levels, pay and conditions that lead to doctor retention, the cost and consequences of waiting lists will continue to get worse and worse.”