NHS doctors set to receive pay rise this month
This month, around 150,000 NHS doctors will start to receive a pay rise after the government accepted the recommendations of the Independent Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration’s (DDRB).
As part of the award, doctors covered by the review body, which includes doctors in training, consultants, specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors and dentists, will receive their pay rise backdated to April. This pay rise balances the need to keep inflation in check while giving staff significant pay increases.
First year doctors in training will receive a 10.3% uplift. This means basic pay for a first year junior doctor will increase from £29,300 to £32,300. For a junior doctor in core training with 3 years’ experience, it will increase from £40,200 to £43,900.
Pay scales for consultants are also increasing by 6%, meaning starting basic full-time pay will rise to £93,600. Taken together with on-call payments and other activities, the average consultant’s NHS earnings will increase to £134,000 a year. This is in addition to their 4.5% pay rise last year and significant pension reforms, which saw the annual allowance for tax-free pension saving increasing by 50% to £60,000 and removing the £1 million lifetime cap.
Some staff will also benefit from performance pay, overtime, pay progression and pay rises from promotion, alongside the pay uplift.
Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said: “I hugely value the work of NHS staff, and we’re giving junior doctors, consultants and senior NHS staff a fair pay rise as recommended by the independent pay review bodies – which is above what most in the public and private sectors are receiving.
“We have worked at speed to ensure they will start receiving this in their pay packets this month. I’ve been clear this pay award is final and I urge the British Medical Association (BMA) to end its callous and calculated strike action – these are only serving to lengthen waiting lists, harm patients and put more pressure on their colleagues.”
The government is funding this pay award through prioritisation within existing departmental budgets, with frontline services being protected. More borrowing would add pressures on inflation at exactly the wrong time, risking higher interest rates and higher mortgage rates.
More widely, and alongside the pension tax reforms announced at budget, the government is implementing new retirement flexibilities to help retain experienced doctors, while making it easier and attractive for retired staff to return.
From 1 April 2023, restrictions were lifted on the amount of work that staff can do if they return to service after retirement, and allowed staff who retire and return to re-join the scheme and build more pension. From 1 October 2023, a further partial retirement option for staff will be introduced, which will allow them to claim a portion of their pension benefits but continue working and building further pension.
This means more clinicians to provide appointments, ease winter pressures and deliver care to patients, as well as the retention of crucial knowledge and experience to ensure patients are receiving first-class care.