Intended for healthcare professionals


Over 80% of doctors work unpaid overtime, NHS survey shows

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 24 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1086
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. 1BMJ Careers
  1. arimmer{at}

Over three quarters of doctors and dentists put in additional unpaid hours on top of their contracted working time last year, the 2014 NHS staff survey has found. When the results were broken down by grade, the survey showed that 84% of consultants and 80% of doctors and dentists in training worked unpaid overtime in 2014.1

Overall, 48% of the 30 487 doctors and dentists who responded to the survey reported working up to an extra five hours a week, and 22% did an additional 6-10 hours. Ten per cent did 11 hours or more of unpaid overtime a week, and 44% said that they undertook paid overtime on top of their contracted work.

The survey found that 85% of doctors and dentists would recommend their organisation as a place to work, and 72% said that they would feel secure raising concerns about unsafe clinical practice. But 43% said there were not enough staff at their organisation to enable them to do their job properly.

Over 624 000 NHS staff were invited to take part in the 2014 NHS staff survey, and 255 000 (41%) members of staff responded.

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