Pay award acknowledges huge effort of doctors in Scotland throughout COVID-19 pandemic

by BMA Scotland

Press release from BMA Scotland.

Location: Scotland
Published: Tuesday 21 July 2020

BMA Scotland says today’s pay award for doctors in Scotland demonstrates an understanding and recognition of the huge contribution doctors make.

In response to the Scottish Government’s announcement, BMA Scotland chair Dr Lewis Morrison said: “Doctors in Scotland have had up to 30% real-term pay cuts over many years and almost all recent pay uplifts have fallen short of being acceptable. We know this has had a cumulative detrimental effect on recruitment, retention and morale. Over this time doctors’ jobs have become more intense and demanding with evidence of excessive workloads and spiralling demand, whilst covering for growing and often under-reported medical vacancies. Add to that the huge efforts of medical staff during many months of the Covid-19 pandemic and it’s clear that reversing that decline is more necessary than ever.

“Today’s announcement is therefore a further step in the right direction after marginal progress last year. It does to some extent acknowledge the effort of doctors who have led the response to Covid-19. But there’s a long way to go to reverse the negative impact of over a decade of previous pay announcements.

“So we welcome the fact that the Scottish Government has listened to the profession by this year accepting the DDRB’s recommendation of 2.8% for all doctors. It demonstrates an understanding and recognition of the huge contribution doctors make, reflects the value of the working relationship with government that we’ve developed during the pandemic, and we hope that it is the start of a more positive trend. It represents one of many steps on the long road to restoring morale and improving doctors’ working lives which include the need for effective recruitment and retention, workforce planning and measures to improve NHS culture and doctors’ welfare. We need a concerted effort across all those issues in order to demonstrate that doctors are truly valued, so that they want to train and stay in Scotland and care for its population.”