Hospital Dr News

NHS consultants receive 2.5% pay rise but no word on pension taxation

NHS consultants are to receive a pay rise of 2.5% this year, the Government has revealed.

Specialty and Associate Specialist doctors in England will receive 3.5%, but only if they agree to a new contract deal.

GPs and junior doctors have already agreed multi-year pay deals worth on average 2% a year along with wider investment to improve their terms and conditions.

The BMA criticised the pay awards saying the increases fail to address years of underpayment and low pay awards.

If SAS doctors refuse a new contract, they receive a 2.5% uplift.

Chair of the BMA Consultants Committee, Dr Rob Harwood, said: “It’s clear from today’s announcement that the Government has not recognised nor rewarded the work and commitment of some of our most experienced and senior doctors and the pay uplift does not provide any mechanism to address historic underpayments to doctors.

“There is also a failure to recognise the huge additional tax bills generated by annual allowance and no account has been taken of the high rate of pension contributions. In the past the DDRB has been only too willing to reduce a pay award because the NHS pension scheme was seen by them as so beneficial. There is no recognition of the fact that’s now not the case. Many senior doctors’ income is being significantly impacted by the punitive pension taxation, so this low pay rise merely adds to the overall position of doctors being undervalued and effectively paying to go to work.

“In addition, there is no indication that there will be any increase to the value of the Clinical Excellence Awards intended to recognise and reward those doctors who contribute most towards the delivery of safe and high quality care to patients and to the continuous improvement of NHS services. In real terms this drops the value of the pay award for consultants to 2.35%.”

Since 2008, doctors have experience real terms pay cuts, say the BMA, with consultants seeing a fall in pay of up to 30%, junior doctors 21% and GPs 29%.

On the positive side, the pay rise will be backdated to April of this year compared to last year’s uplift which was awarded in October and not backdated. The pay rises are in line with the Pay Review Body’s recommendations.

See the current pay scales.

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