MORE men than women are working as doctors at the Dorset University Hospitals Trust, new figures show.

Figures from NHS England show 44 per cent of the 1,105 doctors working at University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust were female, with figures taken in September.

Women make up around three-quarters of all NHS staff, including the bulk of nursing and support roles. At the Dorset University Hospitals Trust, 88 per cent of the 2,210 nurses working for the trust were women.

Meanwhile just 90 of the 22,000 midwives across England were men, while 46 per cent of doctors were women, up from 44 per cent in 2018.

These figures are rounded to the nearest five.

Research from the King's Fund think tank found the pay gap between male and female doctors fell from 20.9 per cent in 2018 to 5.5 per cent last year.

Danielle Jefferies, a policy analyst at the organisation, cautioned the NHS should not "sit on its laurels".

With ongoing issues around staff retention, Ms Jefferies said the NHS "cannot afford" to lose women to jobs outside the health service. A greater number of female doctors could also improve care for women and help deal with health inequalities, she added.

She urged trusts to introduce better flexible working policies, and make sure their process for promotions is "fair and equitable" – across ethnicity and disability as well as gender.

According to government pay gap data, male staff have higher hourly salaries at most NHS trusts – including at the Dorset University Hospitals Trust, where men earned 5.2% more than their female colleagues as of March 2022.

Men occupied 35% of the highest-paying positions at the trust, despite making up 24% of all employees.

Saffron Cordery, deputy chief executive at NHS Providers said it was "deeply concerning" the pay gap has persisted.

She said: "NHS trust leaders are committed to promoting equality and ensuring fair and equal opportunities for staff regardless of protected characteristics.

"Addressing the underrepresentation of women in certain roles, particularly in higher-paying positions, remains a priority.

"But beyond headline figures, trusts need to be supported nationally to tackle the root causes of discrimination in the workforce."

She added a recent plan from NHS England would help close the pay gap and ensure flexible working and menopause policies.

An NHS England spokesperson said: "The NHS is clear that trusts must continue to do all they can to reduce their gender pay gap, which is why we have instructed organisations to analyse their data on pay and put in place an improvement plan by the end of 2024, and this should be monitored and tracked by their board.

"NHS trusts have also been asked to implement an effective flexible working policy including advertising flexible working options on organisations’ recruitment campaigns."