NHS BOSS: TAX BILLS COULD MEAN 'LOSS OF 60 DOCTORS'

blog header image

Posted : 22 Jul 2019 at 10:47:09
Category: News

Share this article

A major NHS trust could lose the equivalent of 60 consultants because of doctors' refusal to work overtime, its chief executive fears.

Dr David Rosser, of University Hospitals Birmingham, said pension tax changes mean consultants fear extra earnings will trigger large bills.

One senior doctor covered shifts, which would otherwise have gone unstaffed, for free to avoid a huge tax bill.

The government said it was looking at more flexible pension rules.

The Department of Health and Social Care said it would be "consulting on proposals to make NHS pensions more flexible for senior clinicians, in response to evidence that shows this issue is having a direct impact on retention and front-line service delivery".

Currently the loss at University Hospitals Birmingham, which employs 1,200 consultants, is equivalent to the work of 10 full-time consultants. The trust fears that could rise to around 60 within 18 months to two years.

Dr Rosser said: "That's a lot of patients whose care will be delayed."

He told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme: "We are seeing the problem escalating pretty much daily and weekly."

'It costs me £50.000 to come to work'

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive of NHS Providers - which represents hospital trusts - said: "This certainly resonates with what NHS leaders are telling us up and down the country."

Dr Rosser said he had incurred a pension-related tax bill of £180,000, in addition to income tax, following promotion to chief executive.

"Actually it's costing me £50,000 to come to work in my first year as chief executive," he said.

Dr Rosser said he was aware of another chief executive in a similar situation.

In 2016, the way pensions were taxed changed. That, and the nature of NHS pensions, have meant consultants and others earning more than £110,000 a year risk large unexpected tax bills when their income increases.

For that reason, many consultants have been refusing overtime shifts - action that has been linked to recent rises of up to 50% in waiting lists in England.

The trust was already looking at a 40% increase in waiting lists in four to five years' time.

It also means cancelled operations.

Healthwatch Birmingham, which represents local patients, told the BBC short-notice cancellations were a concern among patients of the trust.

Image copyright

One consultant said that she was foregoing some payments so she could cover much-needed shifts without incurring a large tax bill.

Dr Sue Sinclair, a consultant anaesthetist, said she had asked not to be paid for some overtime she worked. Following a pensions-linked tax bill of £28,000, she decided to retire next year. In the meantime she is covering some shifts for free.

"You know the NHS has been 'running on vapour'," she said. "It's always run on agency work or extra hours' work at evenings and weekends. So we still continue to do some of it, but you just ask them not to pay us for it."

She said a more junior fellow consultant sold her house to cover a similar bill.

'Pressure and unpleasantness'

Her colleague in the intensive care unit, Dr Nick Murphy, described the "fear and uncertainty" the situation causes.

He said he increased his mortgage to cover a previous payment to HMRC and anticipates having to make a further large payment later in the year.

Dr Murphy has not yet decided what he will do to try to reduce his tax liabilities.

Dr Rosser sympathises with his staff, who he says face a stark choice between doing work they know the trust and patients need and risking big tax bills.

"It is very difficult, " he said "It adds extra layers of pressure and unpleasantness on what is a very high-pressure job already."

Original Source

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-49034525

LATEST SIMILAR NEWS

LAING O’ROURKE TO BUILD EVERTON’S NEW STADIUM
Posted on: 20 Feb 2020 at 10:07:10
Everton Football Club has appointed Laing O’Rourke as preferred contractor for its planned 52,000 capacity stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock on Liverpool’s waterfront.Dan Meis’ brick, steel and glass design takes its inspiration from the historic maritime and warehouse buildings nearbyA pre-construction...
POUND RALLIES AS UK EMPLOYMENT HITS RECORD HIGH AND WAGES BEAT 2008 PEAK
Posted on: 18 Feb 2020 at 13:45:59
Wages beat their pre-financial crisis peak for the first time at the end of 2019, as the level of UK employment rose to a record high of 32.9m people.A total of 180,000 people entered the workforce between October and December 2019, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said today.Read more:&nbsp...
THE DEATH OF ENTREPRENEURS RELIEF? IF SO, HOW DO WE SECURE IT?
Posted on: 10 Feb 2020 at 10:34:44
There is a lot of talk about ER being scrappedOur view is that ER will be retained but restricted furtherAre your clients concerned about a loss of ER? If so, a solution exists.Introduction“Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”The story goes that this was the text of a cable sent by Mark Twai...
NATIONAL SICKIE DAY: HOW MANY OF YOUR STAFF ARE IN?
Posted on: 03 Feb 2020 at 11:52:16
Today (03/02/20) is National Sickie Day, the first Monday of February when your staff is most likely to call in sick.Numerous reasons have been given to this day being a hotbed for employees pulling a sickie, such as it being the first payday following Christmas and so employees have been out at the...
BREXIT DAY DEBRIEF
Posted on: 31 Jan 2020 at 16:17:36
Brexit day is nigh. What does Friday’s milestone really mean (and not mean) and what’s next for REC members as we move to the next phase? In reality, the real work is just beginning.Not much changes (yet)The UK formally leaves the EU on Friday, but not much changes in practice. Not yet. EU inspired...
CONTRACTORS HIT BY SPIRALLING PI INSURANCE COSTS
Posted on: 27 Jan 2020 at 13:41:04
The cost of professional indemnity insurance is becoming a major challenge for contractors, according to research published today by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA).In recent months CECA members have reported spiralling costs for professional indemnity (PI) insurance as the mark...