BMA says 3.5% pay recommendation is “more than just insulting” to thousands of NHS workers

by BMA media team

​Press release from the BMA

Location: UK
Published: Wednesday 22 February 2023

Responding to the Government's recommendation to the pay review bodies of a 3.5% pay uplift for NHS staff, including some doctors, the BMA Chair of Council, Professor Philip Banfield said:

“With inflation running at over 10 percent and some NHS staff having to make use of food banks, for the Government to recommend such a low future pay offer and nothing on back pay, is far more than just insulting. It not only fails to take account of the years of pay erosion – with some doctors having experienced real terms pay cuts of up to 35% – but such a paltry uplift may mean many NHS workers simply won’t be able to afford to stay in the job. Countries like Australia are actively recruiting our doctors and other healthcare workers for jobs with far better pay, terms and conditions and a pay offer like this will do nothing to stem that outflow.

"The offer is also significantly lower than regular pay growth in the private sector which most recent data, shows to be at 6.7%. Now, more than ever, we need to see the pay review bodies show themselves to be truly independent of Government interference and to recommend an appropriate deal that takes account of pay erosion as well as future pay.

“The BMA meets with officials from the Department of Health today and if Ministers truly want to avert strike action by tens of thousands of junior doctors in England, next month there need to be meaningful negotiations and the prospect of a realistic pay offer on the table; 3.5% is nowhere near that.”


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.