The NHS is made up of more than 8,000 organisations, with many more across the wider health and care sector.
The British Medical Association is to survey tens of thousands of England’s most senior hospital doctors to find out what they think of the three per cent pay award.
The government recently announced it was to give consultants in England a three per cent uplift. Whilst this represents an increase compared to the paltry one per cent offer from government at the start of the year, it remains well below what consultants had been calling for. The BMA’s consultants committee has lobbied for a pay award of at least five per cent as part of the Fairness for the frontline campaign.
The survey will ask consultants for their views of the uplift, the impact the award has had on their morale and whether or not they wish to consider any form of action, including possible industrial action. The findings will be reviewed by the BMA and help determine whether there is a need to proceed to a formal ballot.
Dr Vishal Sharma, chair of the BMA’s Consultants Committee, said: “A below inflation pay award of three per cent is bitterly disappointing, and it shows once again how little the government values the dedication and expertise of consultants in England, many of whom have been brought to the brink of breaking point by the pressures of the past 18 months. It is also concerning to see reports that the government is suggesting to fund this rise from within the existing NHS budget and through a potential increase in national insurance contributions. Not only does this result in staff part funding their own pay uplift, but any uplift should be fully funded by government and should not lead to cuts elsewhere across the health and social care service.
“What we do next is of vital importance to all consultants in England, which is why in the coming days we will be asking all consultant members to tell us what they think of the pay award and what action, including potential industrial action they would like to see from the BMA. Consultants have given their all in leading the fight against Covid-19. Some at the expense of their own health. Others with their lives. And this pressure will only intensify as we begin to tackle the backlog of delayed treatment caused by the pandemic.”
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