The Court of Appeal has found that NHS Trust’s monitoring of working hours and rest breaks was flawed, and junior doctors could be owed £250,000 in back pay.
Under their contracts, junior doctors are entitled to a 30-minute break every four hours, or to be paid double if these breaks aren’t taken. The appeal considered the NHS Trust’s failing to ensure that this was enforced.
In calculating doctors’ breaks, data from advanced rotas were used, rather than actual recordings of shift patterns. This method was found to be “irrational” and a breach of contract.
This decision sets a binding precedent which could have considerable implications for the NHS, as these contracts are used widely across the whole organisation.