In response to the announcement on doctors’ pay, BMA Cymru Wales Council Chair, Dr David Bailey said:
“The shameful decision from Welsh Government not to implement the DDRB recommendations in full is nothing short of a kick in the teeth for hard-working doctors in Wales.
“In particular, this is a raw and divisive deal for SAS doctors, whereby some will receive a 4.5% uplift, and some will not.
“This award amounts to nothing more than a pay cut, and it comes at a time when doctors have endured years of below inflation pay rises and are being driven out of the NHS due to perverse, punitive pension rules.
“The timing of this pay cut could not be worse. Doctors have gone above and beyond throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to care for patients, putting themselves and their families’ lives at risk in the process.
“On top of that, they are working in an under-staffed, under-funded service and are now expected to deal with the longest waiting lists on record while paying the price for their commitment during the last two years, with high levels of exhaustion and burnout. It is easy to see why doctors are leaving the NHS at an alarming rate.
“Instead of grasping the opportunity to present Wales as a nation which values its staff, a nation which is ready to seriously address recruitment and retention challenges and a nation which ensures its citizens receive the care they deserve in a timely manner, Welsh Government has decided to follow the UK Government’s lead and further demoralise the workforce on which they so heavily rely upon.
“The problems facing the NHS make it absolutely clear that the safety of patients is underpinned by the availability and wellbeing of staff. Given the crucial role doctors have in ensuring NHS recovery begins at pace, now more than ever, an adequate pay award is necessary to aid recruitment and retention of staff.
“Of course, we are concerned that this consistently demoralised workforce will vote with their feet and leave the profession, creating an even greater level of despair for patients waiting for treatment in Wales.
“We will now consult with our members to gauge their views and consider our next steps and will request an urgent meeting with Welsh Government. In the meantime, in order to help restore the faith of hardworking doctors in Wales, we would like the minister to reconsider this award to curtail any further damage on the Welsh NHS.”
Notes to editors
1. The 4.5% award will apply to consultants, junior doctors, contractor GPs and salaried GPs.
2. Specialty doctors on the 2008 specialty doctor contract will receive the 4.5% uplift, except for the top pay point which has been frozen and a non-pensionable, non-consolidated award of 4.5% applied instead. For those on the 2021 specialty doctor contract, a one-off payment of £1,400 will be made.