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Consultant pay offer: Will early career doctors lose out?

BMJ 2023; 383 doi: (Published 01 December 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;383:p2851
  1. Abi Rimmer
  1. The BMJ

Vishal Sharma, chair of the BMA Consultants Committee, speaks to Abi Rimmer about the details of a deal it is putting to members

Last month the BMA and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association said they would put a pay offer to consultants in England after negotiations with the government.1

The offer is 4.95% investment in pay for this financial year, in addition to the 6% pay uplift for 2023-24 that was announced by the government in July.2 Of this investment, 1.5% comes from phasing out local clinical excellence awards. If the offer is accepted the changes will come into force in January 2024 but will be paid retrospectively in April.

Under the offer, most consultants will receive an additional uplift of between 2.85% and 12.8%, depending on their pay point (table 1). However, consultants in their fifth to eighth year of work will not receive an additional pay uplift immediately but will benefit from faster pay progression.

View this table:
Table 1

What’s happening on doctors’ pay across the UK

Will some consultants lose out under the pay offer?

Sharma recognises the frustration among the group of doctors who will not receive an additional uplift under the offer. However, he said that changes to the pay scale more broadly that have been designed to make it more equitable, especially for women, will benefit these doctors in the long term.

He said, “Our current pay scale is both sexist and ageist. It has been specifically highlighted in the gender pay gap review as being a big component of the gender pay gap. But it’s also ageist because there was a very long time from the start of becoming a consultant to the end; it used to be 19 years.”

This led to experienced consultants who had been working for 10 years or so being …

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