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notes-and-coinsMarch 18 2105

The body reviewing doctors’ pay has recommended a 1% increase for 2015-16.

In its report, published last week, the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration’s said its central recommendations are for an increase in pay in 2015-16 as follows:

•    pay, net of expenses, of 1 per cent for independent contractor general medical practitioners (GMPs) and general dental practitioners (GDPs) for all countries of the UK;
•    basic pay of 1% to the national salary scales for salaried doctors and dentists in Scotland;

Summarising the report, NHS Employers said the 2015-16 financial year is the second year of the two-year pay award, announced by the Government in 2014.

“The pay award offered a 1% non-consolidated award for doctors and dentists at the top of their pay scale for each of the two years. This means that for 2015-16, there will be a 1% non-consolidated pay award for all doctors and dentists on the top of their pay scale.

“For those at the top of the pay scale as at March 31 2014, and in receipt of the 1% non-consolidated award for 2014-15, they will be given a 2% non-consolidated award for 2015-16 (based on 2013-14 pay scale values).

“Those who incremented to the top of the pay scale during the 2014-15 pay award period, will only get 1% non-consolidated for 2015-16 (based on 2013-14 pay scale values).”

Responding to the announcement, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, the BMA’s GP committee chair, said: “Following several years of effective pay cuts, including last year’s disastrous decision to award GPs an increase of just 0.28%, there is, at least, an acknowledgment of the expanding role played by GPs and the increased workload facing the profession has been recognised.

“However, it will not reverse the impact of successive years of under resourcing and pay cut.

“At a time when GPs have delivered substantial efficiency savings to the NHS in addition to actual cuts in their take home pay, it is unlikely that the uplift of 1.16% will cover the unavoidable expenses that practices face or make up for years in under funding.”

He questioned why the Department of Health “has persisted in using a formula to calculate the uplift for GPs when in their own evidence they agreed with the DDRB that it is not fit for purpose.” He also said the announcement did not address issues such as rising patient demand, staff shortages and inadequate premises.

The Scottish Government pointed out that “Scotland is the only UK nation to request and observe the NHS pay review bodies’ recommendations for staff this year, putting employees on the highest comparable rates in the UK.”

Dr Peter Bennie, chair of the BMA in Scotland, commented: “It is welcomed that the Scottish Government has allowed the DDRB to complete its independent process and has accepted the recommendations for hospital doctors; an entirely different approach to that of the Westminster Government in order to deliver a fairer pay for NHS staff in Scotland.

“The Cabinet Secretary herself has acknowledged that these are ‘modest’ awards for doctors who have faced year on year real terms pay cuts. However, we do acknowledge this is a step towards recognising the commitment and hard work of staff in Scotland and to addressing the well-understood challenges of recruitment to and retention of medical posts.”

However, with regards the decision to award GPs 1% net of expenses, Dr Bennie added: “It is disappointing that the DDRB has not considered the impact of the expenses associated with running a general practice, but we welcome the opportunity to discuss with Government further funding to meet these rising costs.”

Dr Mark Porter, BMA council chair, was disappointed that the DDRB had “once again failed to make any attempt to assert its independence by making recommendations for all four nations when it has acknowledged that it has the ability to do so.”

NHS Employers says it will shortly be publishing the 2015/16 medical and dental pay and conditions circular which will contain further detail and figures for the 1% and 2% non-consolidated awards.

Links:

Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration 43rd Report: 2015    

NHS Pay Review Body Scotland report: 2015    

Scottish Government statement    

BMA response    

BMA Scotland response    

NHS Employers statement    

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