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NHS Employers against doctors pay increase

30 September 2013

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NHS Employers believes doctors pay should be frozen to achieve high quality seven-day services. 

According to the organisation, which represents NHS managers and employers, this would enable services to be developed while protecting jobs. 

NHS Employers submitted evidence to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) which states that negotiations on doctors’ pay and contracts must focus on “changing the way doctors work, to enable better evening and weekend care”. 

Dean Royles, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said that a pay increase would not be “the best use of NHS funding when money is so tight”. 

He said: “Doctors work incredibly hard and many would argue they deserve an increase, but one per cent more pay for doctors would cost around £100 million, which is equivalent to the salaries of well over 2,000 registrars working in hospitals. “The average wage of many individual doctors will keep climbing because of their inbuilt system of pay progression.” 

But the British Medical Association (BMA) Council chair Dr Mark Porter said he was “concerned” that the government is unlikely to give doctors a pay rise.

He said: “We recognise fully the economic constraints the NHS is working under but the continued erosion in the real value of contracts for doctors has now reached a critical point. Despite claims pay is out of control, the vast majority of doctors have seen real term cuts in their income year on year.

“Billions of the Government’s so-called NHS efficiency savings have come from the continuing erosion of staff income5. It is unrealistic to think the NHS can cut its budget by almost a quarter simply by just chipping away at staff pay. Instead the Government should be working with doctors who are best placed to deliver real savings while protecting patient care.”

Average pay for NHS doctors in 2012 (including basic pay plus additions such as overtime) was £109,651 for a consultant, £53,365 for a registrar and £36,655 for other trainee doctors, while average NHS manager pay is £47,702.

Last week NHS Employers submitted evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body (which covers nurses, administrators and other staff on the Agenda for Change framework) and submitted this separate evidence to the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body. Both argue against a further pay rise for 2014/15.

This submission to the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body only covers doctors employed in the NHS, so it does not include contractor GPs.