Published by BBC NEWS - 5th March 2024
  • Published
Photo of a striking doctor in glasses holding a placard, which reads 'pay restoration for doctors'Image source, PA Media

Unions representing senior doctors in England have given their backing to a improved pay offer in England.

But it will now be put to consultant members of the British Medical Association and smaller Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association to see if they are willing to accept.

The deal put forward includes an extra £3,000 for those a few years into their consultant careers.

Consultants have staged four strikes in their pay dispute so far.

The BMA said the new deal includes an extra 2.85% – worth £3,000 – for those between four and seven years into their consultant careers, on top of the 6% all consultants got in April.

The previous offer, which was rejected by a narrow margin, meant those at this stage got no additional uplift, while other consultants were getting up to an extra 12.8%.

On top of this, consultants will be eligible for a pay rise for the 2024-25 financial year starting next month.

‘Significant progress’

BMA consultants committee chair Dr Vishal Sharma said it was a “hard fought-for offer”.

He said alongside the extra money, the government has agreed to reform the body which makes recommendations about doctor pay.

“Ultimately, each consultant will have their own decision to make, but the BMA’s consultants committee believes the offer marks significant progress in reaching our aims of reforming the pay review process and preventing further pay cuts,” Dr Sharma said.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins described it as a “good offer for consultants, patients and the taxpayer.”

Nurses and other health workers ended their strike action after receiving a 5% rise and a one-off payment of £1,655.

When the previous offer to consultants was made the Royal College of Nursing called it “galling”.

Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, which represents health managers, said NHS bosses would be relieved with this development.

“We hope that a majority of NHS consultants will now vote in favour of the deal and that we can finally end this long running and damaging dispute.”

He said a deal would then need to be done with junior doctors, who have been involved in their own strike action and have not met for formal talks with ministers since December.

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