BMA negotiations

Doctor's annual pay review from DDRB

Read our most recent submission to the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration.

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Monday 7 September 2020
Topics: Pay
Wallet and notes illustration

Our key asks in 2020

  • For doctors across the UK to be awarded at least retail price index (RPI) inflation and a mechanism to counter the real-terms pay cuts since 2008.
  • For the DDRB to support our calls to the UK government to overhaul pension taxation policies.
  • To support our calls for NHS pay policies to promote equal opportunities for all genders.

Submission of evidence

We submitted supplementary written and oral evidence supporting our above asks to the DDRB.

Since completing this process, the situation with Covid-19 rapidly escalated resulting in a challenging and complex environment, which put unprecedented demands on the NHS and doctors.

We have since written to the DDRB to ensure the effort of doctors in managing the crisis was recognised in their recommendations to the UK and devolved governments. 


Our response to the 2020/21 DDRB report

After considering all the evidence, the DDRB recommended a 2.8% uplift for all NHS doctors in their remit group. The Government accepted this in full which means the following groups of doctors will receive a 2.8% increase:

  • consultants
  • SAS doctors
  • doctors in training in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • independent contractor GPs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • salaried GPs
  • the GP trainers’ grant and GP appraisers’ fee

Our response

  • While the award this year is greater than inflation, the 2.8% does not address the real-terms pay cut that has been created over the past decade.
  • The decision by the Government to not recognise the contribution made by doctors in fighting COVID-19, and to not award GP partners and junior doctors in England an uplift in line with other doctors is especially unfair.
  • We wrote to the Secretary of State for Health and Social care, stressing that the junior doctor and GP contractor pre-agreed pay deals should be supplemented to reflect the unforeseen challenges they have been presented with over the past several months and likely many more to come.
  • GPs contractors in England will be expected to fund the gap between the negotiated annual uplift and the increases for staff and salaried GPs, which we have also challenged in our letter. 
  • The Government chose not to increase the value of Clinical Excellence Awards, Commitment Awards, Distinction Awards and Discretionary Points systems for consultants in their current forms at all. This means that a significant portion of the consultant pay envelope will be frozen which effectively reduces the overall increase.
  • Doctors across the UK are angry that the DDRB did not include in its recommendations a mechanism to address the real terms pay cut that doctors have experienced since 2008.
  • We continue to be concerned about the delays to the announcement of the pay award. There is a particular issue with Northern Ireland, pay awards should be made in a timely fashion following the DDRB’s submission of evidence.


  • Our response to 47th DDRB report and overarching position
  • Our key asks
  • Economic outlook
  • Workforce and workload: working in a system under pressure
  • Pensions
  • Consultants
  • Targeted pay, flexible pay premia and productivity
  • Further issues
  • Conclusion