SAS doctors accept improved pay offer

by Tim Tonkin

SAS doctors will receive a basic pay uplift of between 6.1% and 9.22% of their current pay

Location: UK
Published: Tuesday 18 June 2024
Ujjwala Mohite

SAS doctors have accepted an offer on improved pay from the Government in a referendum, following months of hard-fought negotiation by the BMA. 

Specialists, associate specialists and specialty doctors in England have secured a deal that will see doctors on all SAS contracts receive significant increases to their pay, after 79.3% of SAS members voted to endorse the terms. 

The referendum, which took place between 31 May and 14 June, was the second time in six months that SAS doctors were presented with an offer, with members having resoundingly rejected an earlier offer on pay by the Government in January this year. 

The decision to accept the revised offer, which will see doctors on the 2021 SAS contracts receive a basic pay uplift of between 6.1 and 9.22% of their current pay (equivalent to a 10.4 to 19.4% increase in basic pay since 2022), ends the threat of strike action by SAS doctors in England.  

As part of the newly approved deal, doctors employed under the ‘closed’ 2008 contracts will also benefit from a consolidated uplift of £1,400. 


Contract discrepancies

This increase will be applied in addition to the 6 per cent uplift already awarded by the Government in response to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration in its pay recommendations for 2023/24. 

The uplifts in pay will also be backdated to April this year, raising the baseline for future pay uplifts.

It is hoped that the deal will begin the process of addressing real terms pay erosion and unfavourable discrepancies between the old and new specialty doctor contracts, boost career progression and improve terms and conditions for locally employed doctors.  

With the results of the vote verified, the BMA SAS committee UK has now formally accepted the offer on behalf of the profession.  

Welcoming the new deal on pay, SASC UK chair Ujjwala Mohite warned that the success in securing new terms was not an endpoint but a milestone towards future improvements to pay, conditions and recognition of SAS doctors. 

She said: ‘We entered this dispute with the Government almost a year ago, and today’s result shows just how far we’ve come in the fight to restore SAS doctors’ value in the NHS.  

‘Not many people have heard of SAS doctors or know what they do, but they are absolutely crucial to the running of the health service. However, a combination of burnout, eroded pay, and being taken for granted by the Government has seen many forced to reduce their hours or leave the NHS altogether.   

 ‘That’s why, even though today marks significant progress in helping to keep more SAS doctors in the health service, the fight for pay restoration is far from over. The next step is seeing what the next DDRB pay round brings, and whether it brings us any closer to giving all SAS doctors, on all contracts, what they deserve.’