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Trust accused of ‘emotional blackmail’ after asking junior doctors to work unpaid in covid-hit units

PUBLISHED

London’s largest acute trust has been accused of ‘emotional blackmail’ by suggesting junior doctors could do voluntary shifts in its ‘really short staffed’ critical care unit.

In an email cascaded to all junior doctors at Whipps Cross Hospital, run by Barts Health Trust, hospital medical director Heather Noble said day and night shifts at another trust site, the Royal London Hospital, “really need cover”.

She said doctors could work overtime through a “voluntary or paid shift”, and that if they made contact, should “state whether or not they want to be paid”.

Doctors working at the trust who received the email, who wished to remain anonymous, described the email as “tone deaf” and “not the right way to incentivise anyone to do what they want”.

One medic said: “There has been a lot of anger generated by this correspondence amongst junior doctors. People already working antisocial and demanding rotas are very unhappy about being asked to work more hours for free.”

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Source: HSJ, 26 January 2021 

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