Government must fund salary uplifts for vital clinical academics, says BMA

by BMA media team

Press release from the BMA

Location: England
Published: Thursday 27 August 2020

The Government must give universities funding to ensure they can give pay uplifts to medical academics, the BMA says.

This follows the University and Colleges Employers Association (UCEA) writing to universities this week, recommending they increase pay for clinical academic consultants and senior academic GPs by 2.8%, in line with that recently offered to senior hospital doctors. This is part of the long-standing commitment to pay parity for doctors working in the NHS and the higher education sector.

Dr David Strain, BMA medical academic staff committee co-chair, said:

“Clinical academics are highly-skilled and experienced doctors who are instrumental in educating and inspiring the doctors of the future in our medical schools, and undertaking vital medical research. They also spend roughly half their time working in the NHS. The commitment to pay parity is crucial to recruiting and retaining doctors in academic medicine. With universities under financial pressure1 because of COVID-19, the UK Government should demonstrate its commitment to medical education and research by providing universities with the funding to support the pay award and prevent redundancies.

“With the new year starting in a month’s time, doctors in our universities are already facing a huge increase in workload, as they strive to accommodate the need for physical distancing and remote learning in their teaching and mitigate the impact of lost educational opportunities during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is even before the recent issues with A-levels and the prospect of a sudden increase in student numbers due to the cap on medical school places being lifted.

“We’ve lost too many senior clinical academics over recent years2, and we cannot afford to lose any more – to do so would be disastrous for the extent of medical research in the UK and the quality of learning in our medical schools, to the detriment of the NHS workforce of tomorrow. It’s vital then that universities are able to offer this award in full.”

Ends

Notes to editors

The BMA is a trade union and professional association 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. The IFS estimates that the university sector could lose a quarter of its income this year.
  2. According to research by the Medical Schools Council, the number of full-time equivalent senior clinical lecturers in the UK fell 27% between 2004 and 2019.