- BMA co-chairman Dr Robert Laurenson, 28, was appointed director of the practice in 2013
- The company currently holds over £2million in investments and operates a golf course
The campaigning leader of England’s Young Doctors – who is on vacation as his colleagues stage the most disruptive strike in NHS history – is a director of a multi-million pound family investment company
Dr Robert Laurenson played a key role in plotting the devastating 96 Hour industrial action.
He is currently away from the picket lines because he had already taken time off to attend a friend’s wedding.
He is listed alongside his parents and brothers at Westholme Investments Limited.
The company currently holds over £2million in investments and previously operated a Surrey golf course described as ‘one of the finest’ in the county.
Dr Laurenson, 28, was appointed director in 2013, a year after beginning his medical studies at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.
It is understood he has no day-to-day duties with the company and does not receive a salary or dividends and is not a shareholder, the Daily Telegraph reported.
He took a year off his own medical training to work as a freelance doctor for an agency.
He claimed to have done it “for money and well-being” on his LinkedIn. Before reading medicine, he attended Sevenoaks School in Surrey, one of the most prestigious boarding schools in the country, which charges fees of up to £46,566 for sixth-formers.
Now the trainee doctor is co-chair of the British Medical Association’s (BMA) Young Doctors Committee and is a key architect of their ‘youthful’ strike campaign.
He and his fellow leaders have been accused of failing to engage with Health Secretary Steve Barclay as they strike for sky-high pay rises.
The campaign was first embraced by Doctor’s Vote, a left-leaning BMA splinter group that helped demand a 35% raise.
The group shared a clip of dancing crabs ahead of last month’s 72-hour strike by 36,000 junior doctors and wrote: ‘When your union won’t back down.
The action resulted in the cancellation of more than 175,000 appointments and operations in the NHS’ most disruptive strike this year.
Paul Bristow, Tory MP for Peterborough, who sits on the health select committee, said: ‘These juvenile videos are designed to intimidate young doctors into showing that they are not interested in resolving this dispute.
“It’s not about rewarding young doctors with a fair salary, it’s about playing politics and bringing down the government.
“The NHS and the patients are collateral damage.”
As the Young Doctors’ talks with Whitehall fell through, their board of consultants pushed back a vote on the strike until May 15, citing “constructive talks”.
The union said it would delay the vote for about a month, to allow talks to progress, raising hopes for constructive negotiations.
A source close to Steve Barclay said: ‘These actions are far more constructive than anything we see from young doctors. A BMA spokesperson said: “We are keen to reach an agreement as soon as possible rather than discussing the details of the approach to the talks and the personalities involved.”
“Our door remains open and we hope the Health Secretary will meet with us soon with a serious proposal to restore junior doctors’ salaries.”
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