Junior doctors do not earn £140 in ten hours

29 February 2024
What was claimed

A 10-hour shift as a junior doctor pays £140.

Our verdict

Incorrect. The minimum that a junior doctor in England would now earn for a 10-hour shift is about £155, and most earn much more.

Several posts on Facebook make the incorrect claim: “A 10-hour shift as a junior doctor pays £140.” The claim also appeared on X (formerly Twitter) on 10 February, and has been made at least as early as July 2023.

As we have said before, the average junior doctor in England earns a much higher hourly wage than this. Following a pay rise for 2023/24, even first-year junior doctors earn about £15.53 per hour, making £155.30 in ten hours, in basic pay alone.

The latest NHS workforce statistics, for November 2023, show that the equivalent of about 7,676 full-time first-year doctors were working for NHS England that month. This group made up about 11% of junior doctors as a whole. Basic pay for most junior doctors is substantially higher.

The £14/hour figure was roughly correct for first-year junior doctors in 2022/23 for basic pay only, so it’s possible that some junior doctors did earn about £140 for some ten-hour shifts during that financial year.

However, many doctors also receive additional pay for things like geographic weighting or working unsocial hours.

None of these figures take account of any unpaid overtime that many doctors also work.

This fact check is only about NHS doctors’ pay in England, which is the part of the health service that the UK government controls.

The posts also say that the House of Lords “pays £342 a day just for clocking on”. This figure is correct, and the payment is not taxable, although not all members claim it and those with salaried positions are not able to. We’ve written about the attendance allowance at the House of Lords before.

False information can spread widely on social media, and may damage democracy if it misleads people about how public services are run.

Image courtesy of JESHOOTS.COM

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