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Royal College of Surgeons survey on NHS pensions shows ‘potentially disastrous impact’ on patients, warns BMA

Responding to a survey from the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS)1, which shows that 69% of consultant surgeons have reduced their hours due to pension tax changes, Dr David Shipstone, BMA consultants committee surgical lead, said:

“How many more doctors will need to say, ‘We cannot afford to take on extra work, we cannot cover emergency lists and we are being forced to allow our patients to suffer,’ before this Government brings in fundamental reform to pension tax rules?

“This survey shows the potentially disastrous impact of these perverse rules on patients, who will wait even longer for often life-changing surgery, especially as we head into winter when services are already stretched to breaking point. The issue also goes wider as we will begin to see a loss of training and mentoring for our surgeons and physicians of the future. 

“But while the situation is absurd, it is one of the Government’s making, and is entirely avoidable. Ministers must scrap the damaging annual and tapered annual allowance now so that experienced doctors – including surgeons, other consultants and GPs – can continue to provide the best possible care to their patients without ending up financially worse off.”


Notes to editors

The BMA is a 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. Please see the Royal College of Surgeons' website for full details.
  2. To read more about the BMA’s work on pensions, visit this page.

For further information please contact:

British Medical Association, BMA House, Tavistock Square, London, WC1H 9JP
Telephone: 020 7383 6448 
Email: [email protected]
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