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Fresh government pay offer could end NHS consultant strikes

The British Medical Association (BMA) said consultants have been offered a new deal which could see some senior doctors receive a pay rise worth 19%. 

Today, 27th November 2023, the government have announced a new pay offer for NHS consultants in a bid to prevent further strike action. The increase in pay, which could see some doctors receive a 19% pay rise and others a 6% one, means some salaries will go up by almost £20,000.

man in yellow and green suit holding white and red banner

Against this backdrop, the BMA – the trade union and professional body for doctors and medical students in the UK – said the majority of consultants will receive a pay uplift of 12.8%.

Following weeks of talks, the pay offer will be put to members of the unions. Should they agree to the deal, strikes by top hospital doctors will come to an end.

In addition, officials said that pay scale reforms in the deal will help mitigate the gender pay gap seen between hospital consultants. The BMA said consultants will reach the top of the pay scale five years sooner than the current scheme.

‘We are pleased that after a month of intense talks and more than six months of strike action we never wanted to take, we have now got an offer we can out to members,’ said Dr Vishal Sharma, BMA consultants committee chair. ‘It is a huge shame that it has needed consultants to take industrial action to get the government to this point when we called for talks many months ago.’

Dr Sharma added: ‘We also now have commitments to reforming the pay review process, which has been a key ask from the profession throughout our dispute. Only be restoring the independence of this process can we hope to restore consultant pay over the coming years.’

However, despite promising news emerging that consultants will end industrial action, pay talks between the BMA’s junior doctors committee are still ongoing after they opened last month.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: ‘Ending damaging strike action in the NHS is vitally important if we want to continue making progress towards cutting waiting lists while making sure patients get the care they deserve.

‘This is a fair deal for consultants who will benefit from major reform to their contract, it is fair for taxpayers because it will not risk our ongoing work to tackle inflation, and most importantly it is a good deal for patients to see the end of consultant industrial action.’

Image: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

More on this topic:

NHS strikes: government’s strife with junior doctors escalates

NHS strikes: pay deal signed off for one million workers

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