Recruitment and retention
Even before COVID-19, BMA Scotland had reported that the NHS was overstretched and under-resourced.
United action must be taken to retain consultants in Scotland’s NHS as it deals with and then recovers from the pandemic. We have brought together evidence to show there is a worsening crisis in the consultant workforce.
Consultant vacancy figures
Data collected by SCC shows that the consultant vacancy rate is now more than double the official government figures. A recent BMA survey shows that more than 45% of participating consultants are considering retiring in the next five years.
The punitive, unfair and complex pension tax charging regime continues to have a negative impact on retaining consultants in Scotland and is a key issue for SCC.
While some pension taxation reforms made in the 2020 UK budget were a welcomed first step, pension tax issues continue to lead doctors to cut sessions or retiring early.
SCC continues to press the Scottish Government for further pension reform.
Distinction awards and discretionary points
The Scottish Government has confirmed that discretionary points will be paid from 1 April 2021 for work done in 2020-21. However, distinction awards continue to be frozen with no increase in the value of the awards, no new awards and no progression through the award scheme.
It has been more than 10 years since the freeze on higher awards. The DDRB (doctors and dentists pay review body), the Scottish Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the medical schools of Scotland support our concern that the ongoing freeze on the distinction awards scheme is having a serious effect on recruitment to senior posts. We are also concerned that the lack of new awards puts Scotland at a disadvantage in relation to other parts of the UK where new awards continue to be made.
Learn more about distinction awards and discretionary points
Representing consultants in Scotland
The SCC represents the views and priorities of consultants in Scotland on a range of other BMA committees and external bodies.
Some of the external groups and bodies we liaise with on behalf of consultants in Scotland include:
- General Medical Council
- Revalidation Delivery Board for Scotland
- Shape of Medical Training Transition Group
- Specialty Training Boards
- Scottish Government Management Steering Group (MSG)
- Disciplinary Procedures Review Group.
Reengaging the workforce
The SCC commissioned research on the changing experience of work for consultants in NHS Scotland. It indicated that, despite consultants' commitment to their patients, their colleagues, and the health service, they are disengaged from NHS boards and their management structures.
Having discussed this with consultants from across Scotland, we believe that the best way to reengage consultants is to try to reinvigorate the appropriate use of the statutory medical advisory structures.
We've produced a paper that outlines a list of principles and a possible framework to help facilitate discussion in order to support both NHS boards and local consultant representatives.
Balancing DCC (direct clinical care) and non-DCC work
Our guidance is aimed specifically at helping address the imbalance in some consultants' job plans between DCC and non-DCC work. It aims to provide support for consultants who are concerned about the non-DCC component of their job plan and the medical managers who are responsible for agreeing job plans with consultants.
Chair: Graeme Eunson
Deputy co-chairs: Alan Robertson and Ewan Olson
SCC fund treasurer: Alan Robertson
Two representatives appointed by Ayrshire & Arran LNC
Dr Lucie Buck
Ms Jacqui McMillan
Two representatives appointed by Borders LNC
Dr Joanna Bredski
Dr Sara Livingston
Two representatives appointed by Dumfries & Galloway LNC
Dr Ranjit Thomas
Dr Mallikarjun Bardapure
Two representatives appointed by Fife LNC
Dr Chu Chin Lim
Dr Jane Timperley
Two representatives appointed by Forth Valley LNC
Dr William Newman
Dr Sapna Maheshwari
Three representatives appointed by Grampian LNC
Mr Simon Barker
Dr Hussein El-Shafei
Mr Rory Morrison
Nine representatives appointed by Greater Glasgow & Clyde LNC
Dr Julie Arthur
Dr Sajid Farid
Dr Iain Kennedy
Dr Richard Levin
Dr Kenny Pollock
Dr Allyson Ramsay
Dr Lee Riddell
Dr Judith Roberts
Two representatives appointed by Highland LNC
Mr Christian Michels
Three representatives appointed by Lanarkshire LNC
Dr Surindra Maharaj
Dr Francois Taljard
Five representatives appointed by Lothian LNC
Dr Ashish Agrawal
Dr Karen Darragh
Dr Andreas Demetriades
Dr Ewan Olson
Dr Sunit Rane
Three representatives appointed by Tayside LNC
Dr Tamasin Knight
Dr Alan Robertson
Dr Chris Sheridan
Four representatives directly elected by consultants in Scotland
Dr Jamil Ahmed
Dr Lovely Rajan
Two representatives appointed by NHS Special or Islands health boards
Dr Mark Steven
Dr Jenny Fraser
Scottish Committee for Hospital Dental Services of the BDA (British Dental Association)
Dr Manar Elkhazindar
BMA Scottish council chair
UK consultants committee chair
Members, resident in Scotland, appointed by BMA representative body to the UK consultants committee, unless already a member of the committee in another capacity
Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties in Scotland
Scottish junior doctors committee
Two representatives appointed by the Scottish SAS committee
Scottish general practitioners committee
Take part in one of our free courses designed to give you the right skills to:
- break down equality and inclusion bias (CPD-accredited)
- value difference and inclusivity
- live our BMA behaviour principles.
We meet three times a year to discuss the latest issues affecting consultant doctors in Scotland.
Only members of the SCC may attend meetings and vote; however, consultants who are BMA members are welcome to attend in a non-voting capacity as part of the BMA committee visitors scheme.
- Tuesday 26 October 2021 (Queen Street)
- Thursday 17 February 2022 (virtual)
- Wednesday 27 April 2022 (Queen Street)
All meetings are held virtually or at:
14 Queen Street
How to join
There are many advantages to becoming involved in our committees. You can actively influence BMA policy-making and negotiations, represent your colleagues' voices and develop your leadership skills.
Each committee has a few routes to becoming an elected member. In the case of SCC, these are:
- Seats/term - every year, LNCs elect 35 representatives in total for a one-session term. Seats to LNCs are distributed evenly between boards based on the number of consultants employed in the board area. Where there is no recognised and functioning LNC, nominations may be sought from an alternative local representative body by agreement with the BMA assistant secretary.
- Timeline - elections are usually held in May.
- Eligibility - all consultants who are BMA members are eligible to stand and vote if they live in the relevant areas.
Contact your local negotiating committee
- Seats/term - every two years, elections for two seats on SCC for members employed by an island health board or a special health board take place for a two-session term. No more than one member from any one health board can be elected.
- Timeline - elections are usually held prior to the start of the session.
- Eligibility - all consultants who are BMA members and working in an island health board or a special health board are eligible to stand and vote in this election.
- Seats/term - every two years, elections for four seats on SCC take place for a two-session term.
- Timeline - elections are usually held prior to the start of the session.
- Eligibility - all consultants who are BMA members working in a Scottish NHS board and holding a substantive consultant appointment, or locum consultants on the specialist medical register or on the medical staff of a National health service board.
The election section below is kept up to date with details about any running elections, so make sure you keep checking it throughout the year.