‘Kick in the teeth’ pay rise for doctors

The BMA is up in arms after the Government’s recommendation to the pay review body sneaked out late on the day after the Budget. Doctors will get only a 1% pay rise for their NHS work if this is accepted.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA Council chairman

Association council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a GP, said: ‘This is a total dereliction of the Government’s moral duty and obligation to a workforce that is keeping the NHS on its feet and patients alive.

‘Throughout the pandemic, doctors have cared for more critically ill patients than was ever thought possible and worked round the clock despite suffering from extreme stress and exhaustion, with BMA surveys showing significant numbers of doctors selflessly working extra hours without pay. 

‘This is a time at which the Government should demonstrate that it recognises the contribution of a workforce that has literally kept this country alive for the past ten months.’

He said the recommendation to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB), which recommends what pay rise doctors should receive for their NHS commitments, came as ‘a kick in the teeth’.

In the last decade, doctors have experienced real terms pay cuts of up to 30%.

Dr Nagpaul said the pay recommendation was a double blow, as it came in the same week as the Chancellor announced a huge increase in the taxation on doctor’s pensions ‘that will leave virtually all doctors worse off’. 

Now the DDRB must demonstrate its true independent of Government, he said, and recognise the need for a fair pay uplift that made up for historic pay cuts but also recognised the efforts made and personal risks doctors have taken during this terrible pandemic.

If the pay board goes beyond the Government’s recommendation, doctors will not be home and dry. The Government has slashed recommendations of the DDRB on many occasions in the past.