ALMOST 100 doctors at the trust which runs Basingstoke hospital worked extra hours between August and October, a report has revealed, resulting in almost £2,000 in extra pay being made.

The safe working report for Hampshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s board of directors’ meeting detailed ‘exception reports’ made by doctors, which inform the trust when day to day work varies significantly and/or regularly from what has been agreed in their work schedule.

The trust has 92 doctors.

A total of 91 reports were made between August 1 and October 12, with the majority resulting in payments for additional hours made, or time off in lieu given.

The trust paid out £1,919.55 for the extra hours worked during this time.

Four reports highlighted immediate safety concerns.

One saw a general internal medicine ward run with one doctor short throughout the day, after a roster was done incorrectly.

The doctor who filed the report was scheduled to start at 8am, despite the rest of the team beginning at 8.30am.

The doctor ended up leaving the ward at 5.15pm, when the shift was meant to be from 8am to 4pm.

“There were only two junior doctors on the ward to complete all jobs for 27 patients; all of which were necessary coming out of the weekend; and the hospital computer systems were down for at least an hour,” the doctor said.

They added: “Leaving at 4pm when my shift was rostered to end would have left my colleague alone with an even higher workload than they already had and I would have been at fault for unprofessional behaviour.”

In August, a doctor said they were unable to take their 30-minute break during a “particularly busy late shift” in the emergency department (ED) and was “unable to safely handover patients”.

The doctor therefore stayed one-and-a-half hours late to ensure the care of patients.

The report said: “At one point I helped move a patient to radiology for an urgent CXR because nobody else was free to help.”

Another doctor reported staying late because of staff shortages to help manage three patients who became unwell.

“Most of our team was relatively new to this hospital; that made this issue even worse. I couldn’t take any breaks and had a very hectic shift. I had a similar experience on my previous long days; in particularly on 09/08/2020; when locum shift for additional registrar wasn’t filled and we were terribly short staffed,” the doctor reported.

The doctor added: “Given this recurrent pattern; I am more worried about safe work environment rather than a busy shift.”

The trust received a “high number” of exception reports from medicine.

The report to the trust said: “The effects of the post Covid peak has seen an increase in patient numbers, factored with sickness and initial problems with the new rota which came into effect from August have been contributory factors.

“The new rota has been reviewed due to the support this now provides to the ED rota and changes have taken place from October to provide better levels of staffing for Twilight and weekend shifts to address concerns raised through exception reporting. The rota for both medicine and ED will continue to be reviewed but it is anticipated that the changes will rectify any problems that materialised in August. No other areas of concern have been highlighted through exception reporting.”

The report shows the longest period of extra hours worked paid to a doctor was four hours.