Update: On 5th April 2024, the BMA announced that consultants had voted to accept a pay deal for 2023/24, bringing to an end their dispute. In addition to previous offers, the new settlement includes a consolidated 2.85% pay increase for consultants with between 4 and 7 years of experience. The junior doctors dispute over pay remains active, and no agreement has been reached there.

On 13th July 2023, the Government announced that it would increase doctors pay for 2023/24 by 6% (alongside pay rises of between 5-7% for other public sector workers, such as teachers, the armed forces, and prison guards).

This doctors pay rise is higher than the 5% pay rise offered to other NHS staff such as nurses and administrative staff, although does not include the one-off bonus payment that they received.

The announcement came of the first day of a five day junior doctors strike. The BMA’s initial response has been to say that it would not end the dispute but that it “could be a reasonable starting point for us to progress the dispute”.

The BMA argues that none of the pay offers in 2022 were sufficient and amounted to a real terms pay cut for doctors in the UK. It argues that junior doctors have experienced a real terms pay cut of 26% since 2008 and that hospital consultants a 35% real terms decline in pay since 2008/09.

Junior doctors were first to take industrial action walking out for three days in March 2023 and on a number of further occasions.

Consultants also decided to strike – for the first time in NHS history – on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st July. In a ballot, 86% of consultants voted for industrial action.

On 20th September 2023, in another first for the NHS, Junior Doctors and Consultants decided to strike for the first time on the same day.

After suspending strikes in October the government announced that it would enter into negotiations with the BMA’s consultants committee, although headline pay remained non-negotiable. Discussions with the JDC and SASC were also announced.

In late November 2023, the Government and the BMA agreed on a new pay offer for consultants that would be put to members in a ballot. The new offer would see an additional 4.95% added to pay, in addition to the 6% already paid.

A recommendation from the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) had previously been expected in March on a DDRB uplift for 2023/24. The Government would have then decided whether to accept this recommendation, or reject it and offer a different rate of pay increase.

The Department of Health and Social Care in England told the DDRB that the Treasury had allocated funding for a 3.5% pay rise for doctors (and other NHS staff) in 2023. The same amount has been allocated for a pay rise for NHS staff as a whole – although subsequently this was increased to 5% plus a lump sum payment worth 6% of their previous year’s salary for staff on Agenda for Change.

The 3.5% allocation follows a 4.5% pay uplift in 2022/23 salary scales for most doctors, including:

  • Consultants
  • SAS doctors in Scotland
  • SAS doctors outside of Scotland on the 2008 contract
  • Junior doctors and GP trainees outside of England
  • Independent contractor GPs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Salaried GPs
  • Doctors employed on local contracts by Trusts and Health Boards

The same uplift also applied to GP trainers and GP appraisers grants.

Junior Doctors in England and SAS doctors outside of Scotland on the 2021 contract did not receive the same 4.5% uplift in 2022/23. Junior doctors received a 2% uplift, because their contract is still subject to a multi-year pay deal.

Similar Posts