An NHS chief executive revealed some locum doctors are earning in excess of £100 an hour in efforts to keep A&Es staffed and avoid closure.

Following reports that Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital Trust were set to close Telford’s Princess Royal Hospital ward overnight from December, the Trust cancelled the plan saying staffing numbers were resolved after the NHS allowed his Trust to raise the pay cap for middle-grade doctors.

While the move has allowed the unit to remain in constant operation, the BBC reported that nine of the 20 A&E doctors are drafted in locums – running up a massive wage bill. Trust boss Simon Wright pushed for the average middle-grade doctor wage of £70-£80 per hour to be raised, says “enhanced rates” of £100 or more allows them to secure staff in the short term before a more permanent solution is found.

“Inevitably there is a degree of people who will go around the country where they can get the most money,” Wright told the BBC.

He then claimed the move brings the wage bill down and that recruiting permanent staff would safeguard the service in the longer term, despite previously admitting the influx of locums would support the situation in the short term, and put managing to recruit enough doctors down to the prospect of higher wages.

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