BMA gives Government chance to improve consultants pay offer after members narrowly vote against it

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Thursday 25 January 2024

The BMA is asking the Government to discuss how to improve its pay offer to consultants in England after members voted against it.

BMA consultant members in England voted 51.1% against the offer in a referendum that took place between 14 December and 23 January. The BMA’s consultants committee has therefore rejected the offer but is giving the Government an opportunity to improve it to a point that may be acceptable to members.

Dr Vishal Sharma, BMA consultants committee chair, said:

“The vote has shown that consultants do not feel the current offer goes far enough to end the current dispute and offer a long-term solution to the recruitment and retention crisis for senior doctors.

“It backs up conversations we’ve had with colleagues in recent weeks, who felt the changes were insufficient and did not give them confidence that pay erosion would be addressed over the coming years. In addition, they were concerned about the fairness of the offer and how it impacted different groups of doctors. There were also clear concerns about changes to professional development time, and time dedicated to teaching and research.

“However, with the result so close, the consultants committee is giving the Government a chance to improve the offer.

“In the coming days we will be further engaging with consultants, and seeking talks with Government to explore whether the concerns expressed by our members during the referendum process can be addressed.”

Notes to editors

The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.

  • 23,544 consultants took part in a referendum between 14 December 2023 and 23 January 2024, a turnout of 64.8%. 11,507 (48.9%) voted in favour of the offer, and 12,037 (51.1%) voted against.  
  • Consultants in England have a mandate to take industrial action until 18 June 2024. 

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