HCSA lodges 5.1% pay claim for Hospital Doctor grades

HCSA has submitted a claim for a 5.1 per cent pay rise for all Hospital Doctors to tackle NHS medical staffing gaps amid evidence that one in five are poised to leave the service earlier than planned.

The Association states in its evidence: “There is a pressing urgency across all grades not just to tread water in terms of remuneration but to actively reverse the damaging impact of real-terms pay decline and pensions taxation changes over the past 10 years.”

It also urges greater engagement with medical staff to tackle the key issues of bed availability, patient flow and IT infrastructure hampering their ability to deliver patient care.

The full submission calls for:

  • a base rise of 5.1 per cent (RPI plus 1.9% to address the historic erosion of pay)
  • a 0.5% non-consolidated bonus for doctors in England
  • that the Scottish government apply the medical pay award equally across all grades
  • for the basic rise to apply to all allowances and awards

In its submission the Association warns that the profession has lost faith in the current Pay Review body, with more than half of members now wishing to see direct negotiations with the government over pay.

This follows the decision by the English and Scottish health departments to sideline the DDRB’s recommendations last year.

“DDRB members can and should play a more vocal role if the pay review system is to be seen as legitimate within the profession,” HCSA urges in its evidence.

It also warns that increasing numbers of Hospital Doctors are making changes to their career plans as a direct result of a 20 per cent decline in basic pay, low morale and the stresses created by long-term vacancies.

“We maintain that in order to tackle the corrosive issues of morale, permanent recruitment and retention that we have identified, addressing the long-term erosion of real-terms pay has become a pressing factor across all grades. A meaningful rise to address historic undervaluing of the medical staff is urgently required,” it concludes.

Other key recommendations include:

  • DDRB members must speak out publicly in defence of their findings
  • an urgent joint investigation into the ethnicity pay gap among medical grades, modelled on the ongoing Dacre review into the Gender Pay Gap
  • protection for the 2.5 in SPA time in order for medical staff to be able to contribute to initiatives designed to increase productivity
  • a task force to explore and seek better evidence around early retirement and trainees exiting the profession early
  • engagement with clinicians to tackle system issues including bed availabilty, patient flow, IT infrastructure, and availability of medical and support staff.
  • greater access for medical staff to training and leadership development.