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Pay award knocks profession's morale

Chaand-Nagpaul-3 GPC chair 2015 16x9
NAGPAUL: 'The survey findings of doctors in England should be a wake-up call for the Government'

The Government has ‘seriously misjudged the mood of the profession’ and damaged morale by failing to implement a sufficient pay uplift, a survey has found.

The BMA survey reveals that three quarters of doctors believe the pay award announced last month to be ‘highly unacceptable’.

More than 88 per cent said they felt less valued working in the NHS, and 84 per cent said their morale had worsened.

BMA council chair Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘The survey findings of doctors in England should be a wake-up call for the Government that they have seriously misjudged the mood of the profession with what is another sub-inflationary pay award.’

The pay award for England saw, from October, a 2 per cent increase for junior doctors, 1.5 per cent for consultants with an additional 0.5 per cent linked to clinical excellence awards, 3 per cent for staff, associate specialist and specialty doctors and 2 per cent for GPs.

However, the pay increases for junior doctors, consultants and SAS doctors will not be backdated to April.

The DDRB (Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration) had recommended a 2 per cent increase for juniors and consultants, and 3.5 per cent and 4 per cent increases for SAS doctors and GPs respectively.


Targeted unfairly

Dr Nagpaul said: ‘The Government’s decision to not implement the recommendations of the DDRB has compounded this by its unjust decision to not backdate this pay award to April 2018 for hospital doctors. This is wholly contrary to the definition of an “annual” pay uplift.

‘The Government’s headline figures are inaccurate and misleading for doctors since this six-month pay uplift commencing in October effectively halves its value for the year.

'Far from the Government claiming to lift the pay cap for public sector workers, most doctors will continue to receive an uplift of 1 per cent or less – and appear uniquely targeted in this unfair manner.’

Dr Nagpaul said that, since 2008, doctors had experienced the largest drop in earnings of all professions subject to pay review bodies, with consultants seeing a 19 per cent fall in pay, junior doctors 21 per cent and GPs 20 per cent. He warned of the devastating effect on morale.

‘With the NHS facing severe shortages of doctors across all specialties, it is more important than ever that the Government recognises the contribution declining pay has had on the ability to recruit and retain doctors and takes steps to reverse this.’

Dr Nagpaul said that following the compelling evidence presented by the survey, the health and social care secretary Matt Hancock needed to make tangible improvements.

Find out more about the survey results

The full results of the survey:

Overall, how acceptable is the pay offer from the Government?

Highly unacceptable 74.5%

Somewhat unacceptable 17.6%

Neither acceptable nor unacceptable 3.3%

Somewhat acceptable 3.9%

Highly acceptable 0.7%


Overall, how acceptable is the pay recommendation from the DDRB?

Highly unacceptable 20.1%

Somewhat unacceptable 24.6%

Neither acceptable nor unacceptable 12.4%

Somewhat acceptable 34.7%

Highly acceptable 8.2%


As a result of the government’s offer, has there been any change in how valued you feel working as a doctor in the NHS?

Significantly reduced 57.8%

Reduced 30.3%

Neither increased nor reduced 11.1%

Increased 0.6%

Significantly increased 0.2%


As a result of the government’s offer, how would you describe your current level of morale?

Significantly worsened 44.6%

Worsened 40.2%

Neither improved nor worsened 14.5%

Improved 0.6%

Significantly improved 0.1%



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