10 September 2012
The BMA has helped several staff-grade doctors to become associate specialists and gain back pay after their initial applications were rejected.
Two doctors at United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and another at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust were regraded with the assistance of BMA senior employment adviser Shazia Karim.
Lincolnshire associate specialist in anaesthetics Samy El-Kasier had his pay backdated to the original application date more than three years ago, as recommended by the BMA.
He described the regrading process as ‘a marathon’ but added: ‘I am really pleased by the efforts of Shazia Karim. She was very helpful and she knows what she is doing.’
Lincolnshire associate specialist in trauma and orthopaedics Gulzar Hagroo also had his pay backdated to 2009 and he commended BMA guidance in putting together his portfolio of evidence for an appeal panel.
Mr Hagroo also praised his trust SAS (staff, associate specialists and specialty doctor) tutor Anthea Mowat, who is on the BMA SAS committee.
He said: ‘Her knowledge, expertise, support and personal involvement in my case were invaluable.'
Walsall associate specialist in paediatrics Deepak Mittal said it had been hard work going through the regrading process, particularly as he had needed to appeal. ‘However, I felt that the BMA was extremely helpful and supportive and I would suggest to others in my position not to give up hope and keep trying,’ he said.
Ms Karim said: ‘These were long-running cases, it shows we don’t give up the fight and we have had great success here.’
The senior employment adviser stressed the importance of acknowledging the work of SAS doctors.
She said: ‘They have kept the service running, they are hard-working individuals and they need that recognition and appreciation for the work that they do.
‘The employer needs to recognise that and reward them with regrading. The NHS would struggle without this grade of doctors, they keep everything afloat.’
BMA SASC joint deputy chair Raj Nirula said regrading had been completed in several parts of the UK, such as Wales where he works, but he urged doctors to stick with the process in areas where there was a backlog.
He said: ‘This is a good opportunity if you can take it.’
United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust medical director David Levy said he welcomed the trust regradings.
The associate specialists grade was closed to new regrading applications from April 1, 2009.
However, any BMA members still going through the process should contact the association for help and support.