Talk of new pay deal could end ongoing strikes by senior doctors

The Department of Health insisted the proposals did not change the headline pay rise set for this year through the pay review body process.

But the arrangement will reduce the time it takes for senior doctors to reach the top of their pay scales in a move dubbed a
“disguised” pay rise.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “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 work to tackle inflation – and most importantly, it is a good deal for patients to see the end of consultant industrial action.”

The British Medical Association claimed the plan would amount to a “4.95% investment in pay” from January on top of the 6% salary rise awarded this year.

It said this meant consultants would receive a minimum of 6% in 2023/24, but the majority would also get an additional uplift of up to 12.8% depending on their pay point.

The Government has also agreed to examine the pay review process for doctors.

Meanwhile, the BMA has agreed to end using its rate card, which advises doctors on how much to charge for extra shifts and has been blamed for driving up staffing bills.

Members of the BMA and Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association will now vote on whether to accept the offer.

Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said: “Putting an end to this strikes will
support our efforts to bring down waiting lists and offer patients the highest quality care.”

Amanda Pritchard, chief executive of NHS England, called the breakthrough “a huge relief”. But Sir Julian Hartley, from NHS Providers, said the strikes had “cost the NHS £1.4billion”.

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