NHS consultants accept salary offer, ending year-long dispute with government | NHS

A strike by senior NHS doctors in England has been called off after they accepted a pay offer following a year-long dispute with the government.

Members of the British Medical Association (BMA), which represents NHS consultants, voted 83% in favor of the government’s new pay offer, which also included changes to the doctors’ pay review body and dentists (DDRB).

It comes after consultants rejected a pay deal in January.

The offer, according to the BMA, includes a 2.85% increase for those who have been consultants for four to seven years. This is in addition to the 6% granted during the salary review process last year.

The BMA says the deal means there will be significant changes to the way the pay review body appoints members, meaning the “DDRB can no longer ignore the historic losses suffered by doctors or the fact that foreign countries are competing for British doctors with supply. significantly higher wages.

He indicated that this offer also improved the government’s previous proposal on reforming the salary scale of senior doctors.

The consultants have taken strike action for the past year and previously said they would call off industrial action if they were awarded a pay rise of around 12%.

Members of the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) also voted in favor of the offer, 83%.

Dr Vishal Sharma, Chairman of the BMA Consultants Committee, said: “Last year, consultants carried out an unprecedented strike in our fight to address our concerns about salaries and the functioning of the salary review process. , supposedly independent. At the heart of this dispute was our concern for patients and the future sustainability of the NHS. Without valuing doctors, we lose them. Without doctors we have no NHS and patients suffer.

“But the fight is not over yet. This is only the end of the beginning, and we still have a way to go before the consultant compensation lost over the past 15 years is restored. All eyes will therefore be on this year’s salary review, the DDRB’s recommendations and the government’s response.”

Julian Hartley, chief executive of NHS Providers, said: “This is good news for trust leaders. However, we are not out of the woods yet: junior doctors have voted for more strikes and industrial action, while other specialist doctors have rejected a government pay offer.

“Extremely disruptive and costly strikes across the NHS cannot become ‘business as usual’. Remaining concerns need to be addressed. Industrial action has detrimental consequences for patients, staff and overburdened services. We urge politicians and unions to find a way to end all conflict. »

Victoria Atkins, the Health Secretary, said: “I greatly appreciate the work of the NHS consultants and am pleased that after weeks of negotiations they have accepted this fair and reasonable offer, ending the threat new strikes. Consultants will now be able to focus on providing the highest quality care to patients and we will be able to consolidate our progress on waiting lists – which have decreased over the last four months.

“This deal directly addresses gender pay issues in the NHS and improves parental leave options for consultants, representing a fair deal for consultants, patients and taxpayers. »

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