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Increase doctors pay award to boost morale, says BMA

BMJ 2018; 362 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.k3431 (Published 07 August 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;362:k3431
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

The BMA has called on the government to increase the pay award proposed for doctors in England after a survey found that 74% of the profession thought it was highly unacceptable.

In July, the government announced a one year pay rise of 1.5% for consultants, 2% for trainees, 3% for specialty doctors, and a backdated 2% for GPs.1 But a survey of 12 717 BMA members in England found that nine out of 10 doctors thought the offer was highly (74%) or somewhat (18%) unacceptable.2

The BMA survey found that most doctors thought that the government’s pay offer had either significantly reduced (58%) or reduced (30%) how valued they feel working in the NHS. A similar proportion (85%) said that the offer had worsened their morale, with 45% saying their morale was significantly worsened.

Chaand Nagpaul, chair of BMA Council, said that the survey’s findings should be a “wake-up call” for the government. “They have seriously misjudged the mood of the profession with what is another sub-inflationary pay award,” he said.

Nagpaul said that backdating the pay award to April and increasing the offer would go a long way towards making doctors feel valued. “I look forward to meeting with the Secretary of State in person to discuss how this can be done,” he said.

The government’s offer was announced after the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration recommended a 2% minimum increase for all salaried doctors in the UK and a 2% increase for GP partners.3 According to the BMA survey, 35% of doctors found this recommendation to be somewhat acceptable, whereas just 8% said it was highly acceptable.

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