Intended for healthcare professionals


Junior doctors accept new pay deal

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 03 June 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1494
  1. Helen Morant
  1. BMJ

    Junior doctors in the United Kingdom have voted overwhelmingly to accept a pay deal that delivers the biggest increases to those working the longest and most antisocial hours. Jobs will fall into one of four bands of pay according to the amount and timing of the additional hours worked. Earnings will no longer be related to the specific number of hours worked.

    About half of the 30000 junior doctors responded. Some 79% of the respondents voted to accept the deal negotiated by the BMA's Junior Doctors Committee and the Department of Health.

    The banding of each job will be based on the results of a questionnaire filled in by the post holders, and trusts will not be allowed to increase the number of hours of work within each band. The pay rises are to be phased in over the next three years.

    The average newly qualified doctor, currently earning £24164 ($15102), will earn £25890 when the first wave of the deal is implemented. By December 2001, the same job will pay £31068, a rise of 28% over present levels. No junior doctor will lose out, not even among those in the lowest bands, says the BMA.

    The new pay structure will provide financial incentives for trusts to implement the agreed reduction in junior doctors' hours. One in three junior doctors work longer hours than they should. Under the new plan, the more antisocial hours that a trust requires a junior doctor to work, the more expensive that junior doctor will be. “Trusts who exploit doctors will pay the price,” said Andrew Hobart, chairman of the Junior Doctors Committee.

    The NHS Confederation, representing the trusts, expressed relief that the deal had been accepted and that the threat of industrial action had receded. But it is cautious about implementing the deal. “The junior doctors' deal will present a considerable challenge for those trusts that will have to radically change their working practices—it's not going to be easy and it will take time,” a spokesman said.

    Nizam Mamode, chairman of the junior doctors' negotiating committee, said: “This is a large pay increase for junior doctors and a huge lever for change. I am pleased that the membership has given a clear endorsement of the negotiating team's work.”

    Embedded Image

    This sculpture, Out of the Blue by artist Paul Marc Davis, was unveiled last week at Guy's Hospital, London. The wall mounted figurative piece is displayed in an internal courtyard where the old hospital tower adjoins a newer wing. The sculpture was selected by staff, patients, and visitors to the hospital from a shortlist of five designs. The two airborne figures in the piece join hands in space to represent hope, optimism, and energy.


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