Doctors’ salaries have declined sharply over the last decade following years of pay restraint policy from successive governments.
A study by University College London and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research found public pay policy had led to a fall of around 22 per cent in doctors’ pay in real terms – with staff shortages rising and morale plummeting at the same time.
The report, commissioned by the Office of Manpower Economics, found that average hourly earnings of UK workers – measured by the median average – dropped in real terms by almost 6 per cent between 2005 and 2015.
BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said the report provided further evidence of the difficulties faced by doctors over the last decade.
Dr Nagpaul added: ‘There is clearly growing support for doctors, nurses and allied health professionals’ message to the Government: that the pay cap is unfair, unacceptable and must be lifted.
‘With the NHS at breaking point, politicians cannot continue to duck this issue. Investing in the NHS workforce and providing fair terms and conditions must be a priority for this Government, otherwise the NHS simply won’t be able to attract and keep the frontline staff needed to deliver safe, high-quality patient care.’
It comes just months after the DDRB (the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration) report recommended a 1 per cent pay rise for frontline staff.
The pay review suggested the tiny uplift despite a cost of living rate of 2.3 per cent and staff seeing their incomes dropping.
Then BMA council chair Mark Porter said doctors would be angered by the decision and called for the Government to address the ever-increasing shortfall in health and social care funding.
Dr Porter said: ‘Yet again the annual pay review is nothing other than a cover for driving down real pay in the health service.’
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