Contract Pay

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BMA's evidence to the DDRB on doctors' pay


Each year in Autumn, the BMA submit detailed evidence and recommendations on pay for doctors' across the UK, for the Doctor and Dentist's Review Body (DDRB) pay review the following year.


BMA evidence for 2016/17 pay review

We submitted evidence to the DDRB for the 2016/17 pay review in September 2015.

The key arguments in our submission highlight that:

  • the BMA has become increasingly concerned about the ability of the DDRB to exercise its independence. We have asked that DDRB is not constrained by any remit it may receive this year when making its recommendations.
  • the BMA is submitting evidence for the whole of the UK, and is seeking a common recommendation for doctors across all branches of practice and all nations. We also believe it is within the DDRB's remit to make a gross earnings recommendation for GPs.
  • we believe that doctors are being unfairly punished by Government when pay rises above 1% are regularly being seen across the economy, and at a time when doctors are working harder than ever to deliver a safe and quality service to patients.
  • we believe the NHS is facing a significant recruitment and retention crisis across the UK, which will only be worsened by low or zero pay increase. We are not proposing a specific figure for the 2016/17 pay award, but we argue that doctors should be treated in line with the wider economy.

Download the BMA evidence (Sept 2015)


DDRB recommendations for 2016/17 pay review

The DDRB completed their review in March 2016 and made the following recommendations to the UK governments.

These recommendations were accepted by governments for 2016/17, unless where stated:

  • A base increase of 1% to the national salary scales for salaried doctors
  • An increase of 1% to the minimum and maximum salary range for salaried GPs
  • A 1% increase in pay (net of expenses) for independent contractor GPs
  • An increase of 1% to the GP trainers' grant
  • The rate for GP appraisers to remain at £500
  • GP registrars supplement to remain at 45% of basic salary
  • An increase of 1% to the value of clinical awards for consultants*
  • a non-consolidated payment of 1% of basic earnings to those staff who received a non-consolidated payment of 2% in 2015-16, and who have not since moved to a new pay scale point

*Not accepted by the Scottish Government

Download the DDRB recommendations (Mar 2016)


Response from BMA council chair

Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chairResponding to the DDRB recommendations on doctors' pay in March 2016, BMA council chair Dr Mark Porter said:

"Delivering a world class health service requires a workforce that feels motivated and supported to provide the best possible care for patients. 

Yet this one per cent increase follows years of real terms cuts to front line staff pay, dressed up as efficiency savings, and coupled with the government's shambolic approach to the junior doctor contract, is unlikely to make the currently demoralised workforce feel valued."


Who is the DDRB and what do they do?

Pay for doctors and dentists holding posts in the NHS on nationally agreed terms and conditions of service is considered annually by the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB).

The DDRB is an independent body which makes its recommendations directly to the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Health, and their equivalents in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The health departments, NHS Employers and the BMA (on behalf of the profession) send written evidence to the DDRB each September, followed by oral evidence in November or December.

The DDRB usually reports to the Prime Minister in February or March the following year and the report is made public with the government's decision a few weeks later, for implementation on the following 1 April.

Find out more about the DDRB