BMA negotiations

Doctor's annual pay review from DDRB

Read our response and submission to the 2021/22 report from the DDRB (Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration).

Location: UK
Audience: All doctors
Updated: Friday 23 July 2021
Topics: Pay
Wallet and notes illustration

Our response to the 2020/21 DDRB report

The DDRB has recommended a 3% uplift for all of those within its remit. This applies to:

  • consultants
  • SAS doctors and dentists in Scotland, as well as those who do not move onto the reformed contracts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • doctors and dentists in training in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • independent contractor GPs in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • the pay range for salaried GPs
  • the GP trainers’ grant and GP appraisers’ grant.

The recommendations have been accepted by ministers in England and Wales.

The DDRB also noted that those not in their remit and have multi-year pay deals in place:

'have also made significant contributions to the pandemic response. Our recommendations do not respond to the impact of the pandemic on recruitment, retention and motivation of these groups. Recognising the contribution they have made to the pandemic response in this context is extremely important, and we would urge ministers to consider this.'

Our response

  • We are extremely disappointed that the Government has not gone far enough in recognising the efforts made by frontline staff in the last 18 months.
  • With the rate of inflation currently predicted to increase to close to 4% later this year, this uplift in fact amounts to another real-terms pay cut for those who will receive it. It fails to address the significant pay erosion doctors have experienced in recent years.
  • The decision to not to increase the value of CEAs (clinical excellence awards) for consultants means that a significant portion of the consultant pay envelope will be frozen - effectively reducing the overall increase.
  • It is callous and unjust for the Government to ignore the advice of the DDRB in choosing to not reward those doctors in England on multi-year pay deals (junior doctors, GP partners and SAS doctors who have transitioned to the new contract) given the extraordinary efforts they too have demonstrated throughout the pandemic.

The BMA is challenging:

  • the decision to award just 3% in England and Wales
  • Government's decision to not provide any additional uplift to those on multi-year pay deals in England
  • Government's failure to provide additional funding to cover the gap between the negotiated annual uplift and the increases for staff and salaried GPs.

The BMA will be surveying consultant and junior doctor members in England on what next steps they would like to see from the BMA.

Read our blogs and news articles 


Our key asks in 2021

  • A significant and early pay award, that is much higher than the retail price index and will go some way to closing the real terms pay erosion that doctors have faced over the past decade.

  • Recognition that all doctors, including doctors who had previously agreed multi-year pay deals, have gone to extreme lengths to tackle the pandemic and that they should be rewarded as such.

  • The DDRB to take into account the devastating impact of the current pensions system, including the unfair system of tiering of contribution rates and the impacts of pension taxation on doctors take home pay.

    The BMA request that this is not only taken into account when making its recommendation but that the DDRB support the BMA in calling for the annual allowance to be scrapped in the NHS pension scheme.


In our submission:

  • Our key asks
  • DDRB remit letter
  • GP contracts
  • SAS contract negotiations
  • COVID-19 and ways of working
  • Pensions
  • Redeployment
  • Medical students and retired doctors
  • Extra contractual work
  • Vacancies and retention