Hospital Dr News

BMA calls on Government to restore original pay review process for doctors

The BMA has called on the Government to restore the doctors pay review process in England to its original purpose, as a new survey shows more than 80% of members believe this year’s pay rise to be inadequate.

The union has said it will not engage with the Doctors’ and Dentists Remuneration Body (DDRB) process this year and is instead seeking urgent negotiations with the Government and the DDRB to reform the pay setting process.

The DDRB was originally formed as an independent body with the aim to avoid disputes between Government and the profession, and to give doctors assurance that their standard of living would not be depressed by ‘arbitrary Government action’.

Following a series of Government imposed pay freezes and pay caps, estimated take-home pay of the average consultant has fallen by more than 28% in real terms since 2008, according to the BMA.

The BMA is demanding that the pay setting process is reformed in line with the original purpose and principles.

The decision to withdraw and seek restitution of the pay review body comes as the BMA’s consultation over consultant pay shows more than 80% of consultants believe the award is either inadequate or completely unacceptable, with more than 70% suffering a decline in morale as a result.

A staggering 91% believe that it shows that the Government does not value the work consultants have done or will be expected to do.

The Government originally offered a 1% pay rise which was subsequently uprated to 3% for consultants – but not all doctors.  

No trust in pay body

Commenting, BMA consultants committee chair Dr Vishal Sharma said: “At a time when the NHS has been under maximum strain and with the expectation that consultants will now step up to tackle the backlog of delayed treatment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the high levels of inflation, consultants view the Government’s pay award as another real-term pay cut.

“This survey shows that our members no longer have any confidence in this Government to recognise the incredible efforts they have made and will continue to make, including the hours and days spent on Covid wards, putting their lives at risk, away from their families.

“Consultants have lost all trust in the review body, their decisions, and the Government’s management of a process that is no longing offering evidence-based, independent pay recommendations.”

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