BMA secures shadowing pay for F1 doctors

by Ben Ireland

Payment structure agreed after long-standing negotiations

Location: England
Published: Thursday 14 July 2022

Foundation year 1 doctors will be paid fairly for shadowing periods, following an agreement between the BMA and NHS Employers.

The employers’ organisation has agreed that doctors will be reimbursed for the period, which takes place before they take on their full F1 responsibilities.

Payments will be calculated in line with the funding provided by HEE (Health Education England). While the shadowing period itself is supported by all parties, the BMA has been consistently arguing that those engaged in shadowing have been significantly underpaid.

New F1s will be paid the equivalent of their basic salary divided by 261 working days for each of their shadowing days.

HEE guidance says appointees to F1 should spend a period of at least four days shadowing the F1 jobs they will be taking up before they take on the full responsibilities. This is designed to help F1s understand their roles, responsibilities and limitations as well as learn their new working environment and systems and how to seek supervision.


Devolved costs

The BMA also welcomed a further agreement from NHS Employers that trusts which ask F1s to undertake extended shadowing periodbeyond the four-day minimum will meet the additional cost locally.

NHS Employers also reiterated that shadowing is protected as an identified transition period from medical student to employment as an NHS doctor.

It recommends contracts of training are offered and notes: ‘F1 appointees should not be asked to undertake tasks that would be beyond the scope of their consolidation of learning or could be perceived as substantive duties for the trust, as this could lead to the shadowing period being considered as work and therefore employment.’

BMA junior doctors committee co-chair Mike Kemp said: ‘We welcome the reiteration that junior doctors should be paid properly for their shadowing period and are pleased to see the guidance updated to reflect that.

‘Shadowing is a very important time in helping smooth the transition into a doctor’s first job and has considerable benefits for patient safety. It is only right that it should be properly remunerated.’