Health & Lifestyle

NHS consultant behind strikes by senior doctors claims he can make £350 an hour from private work

An NHS hospital consultant behind strikes by senior doctors has claimed he can make ‘£350 an hour’ from his lucrative private work.

The assertion by Mike Henley, a lead negotiator for the British Medical Association (BMA), can be disclosed after the Mail last week revealed that NHS consultants can cash in from private work while on strike.

In a post on social media in August last year, Mr Henley wrote: ‘My private rate is currently equivalent to a solicitor… so circa £350/hr. My clinics are always full.’

Mr Henley, who lives in a £1million cottage in rural Derbyshire, is among thousands of senior NHS doctors who will strike for two days this month as they demand pay rises of 35 per cent.

It can also be revealed that the BMA’s other lead negotiator in the senior doctors’ dispute, Ram Moorthy, is making as much as £120,000 extra a year from private work, according to analysis of his company’s accounts.

Mr Henley, who lives in a £1million cottage in rural Derbyshire, is among thousands of senior NHS doctors who will strike for two days this month

Mr Henley, who lives in a £1million cottage in rural Derbyshire, is among thousands of senior NHS doctors who will strike for two days this month

The pair will be among senior medics who are able to profit during this month’s two-day walkout of NHS consultants, but which will cause misery for thousands of patients who face having operations cancelled.

NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis urged senior NHS doctors not to cash in on private work during strikes.

He told the BBC last week: ‘I would expect doctors if they are on strike, consultants, to approach the private sector exactly the way that they would approach the NHS.

‘So they have a professional responsibility to manage emergencies and if they are providing a Christmas Day level of cover in the NHS then they should not go beyond that in any other setting.

‘Clearly they have a duty to look after patients but no, they should not be doing additional work beyond that.’

Tory MP Dr Ben Spencer added: ‘As a former NHS consultant I know the disruption and delays these strikes will cause.

‘It’s outrageous that some doctors are planning to use it to fast track their private patients, making a mint while NHS patients suffer.’

NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis urged senior NHS doctors not to cash in on private work during strikes

NHS medical director Professor Stephen Powis urged senior NHS doctors not to cash in on private work during strikes

No 10 also spoke out after it was revealed that the wealthy medics, who earn £128,000 on average for their public sector work, are allowed by the BMA to continue in private practice during industrial action.

Asked what Rishi Sunak made of their behaviour, the PM’s official spokesman replied: ‘If consultants choose to take strike action, it cannot be right that some continue to only treat their fee-paying private patients and benefit financially from that while patient care is put at risk in the NHS. It would not be right to put profit before patients.’

Up to 24,000 hospital consultants are due to strike on July 20 and 21, for the first time in more than a decade, claiming their incomes have fallen by 35 per cent in the past 15 years.

They will provide ‘Christmas Day cover’, meaning that routine operations will be cancelled but life-or-death services in A&E and maternity will remain in place.

The action has been timed to start the day after junior doctors in England complete a five-day walkout, adding to the disruption suffered by patients.

It comes after the head of the BMA warned that all four types of doctors could be in dispute with the Government ahead of the next election.

No 10 also spoke out after it was revealed that the wealthy medics, who earn £128,000 on average for their public sector work, are allowed by the BMA to continue in private practice during industrial action

No 10 also spoke out after it was revealed that the wealthy medics, who earn £128,000 on average for their public sector work, are allowed by the BMA to continue in private practice during industrial action

Mr Henley is a urology consultant for the University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust but is also listed as running a private clinic on the Nuffield Health and Bupa websites.

He has previously urged senior doctors to never ‘be embarrassed about what you earn… you’re worth every penny’.

Mr Moorthy, who lives in an £800,000 home in Buckinghamshire, is a consultant for NHS Frimley Health Foundation Trust specialising in head and neck surgery.

He also practises privately at the Spire Thames Valley Hospital in Slough, The Princess Margaret Hospital in Windsor, and the Bridge Clinic in Maidenhead.

A BMA spokesman said that the £120,000 figure in relation to Mr Moorthy’s extra earnings was an ‘overstatement’ because it doesn’t take into account business taxes.

They added: ‘The BMA is clear that NHS consultants planning to strike should not schedule any other work, including in private practice, when they are taking part in industrial action.

‘This would be especially important should the strikes be called off due to the Government coming forward with a credible offer – something we are imploring Ministers to do to avert action.’

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