BMA to put improved pay offer to consultants in England

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Tuesday 5 March 2024
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The BMA has secured an improved pay offer for consultants in England after a previous offer was narrowly rejected at the end of January.

The offer, which is the result of intensive talks between the BMA and the Government in recent weeks, will now be put to consultant members in a vote.

Following the rejection of the earlier offer, the BMA engaged with members to listen to their concerns, which informed negotiations with the Government.

The new offer therefore includes important changes to the pay review body, the DDRB, which represent significant progress in returning it to its original purpose and independence. There are changes to the way it will appoint members, and the Government will no longer be able to limit its remit with reference to inflation targets. The DDRB will also make its pay recommendations for doctors in the context of long-term trends in the wider labour market and comparator professions, including relevant international comparators.

The offer builds on changes to the consultant pay scale in the original offer and now includes a 2.85% (£3,000) uplift for those who have been consultants between four and seven years, who under the original offer received no additional uplift. This is on top of the 6% awarded during the DDRB process last summer.

There are also no longer any changes or limits to the way consultants should spend valuable time for teaching, research and improving services, that were included in the previous offer.

The BMA’s consultants committee is recommending to members that they vote to accept the offer.

BMA consultants committee chair Dr Vishal Sharma said:

“After narrowly rejecting the last offer, consultants raised three key concerns: that there was not enough movement on restoring the DDRB’s impartiality; too many consultants were left with no additional uplift this year; and they were worried at the potential for their protected time for service improvement and research to be curtailed and diverted.

“In our talks with Government we now feel we’ve made enough progress on these issues to go back to the membership and recommend they vote to accept the offer, and in doing so end the current pay dispute and prevent further industrial action. Ultimately, each consultant will have their own decision to make, but the BMA’s consultants committee believes the offer marks significant progress in reaching our aims of reforming the pay review process and preventing further pay cuts.

“This hard fought-for offer marks a step forward in restoring fairness and if it is accepted, as we hope it will be, it is essential that the pay review process makes recommendations that will further restore consultants’ pay in the coming years, to fix the retention crisis among the consultant workforce – and therefore safeguard medical expertise in the NHS.”


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. 

  1. Consultants voted against the previous offer 51.1% to 48.9% in January.
  2. More information about the improved offer is here.
  3. Consultants in England will vote on the offer between 14 March and 3 April.
  4. If accepted, any pay uplifts will be backdated to the beginning of March 2024, and will be separate to any uplift awarded as part of the 2024/25 DDRB process.