Following comments from union officials that a 50% pay increase would not be sufficient to prevent top physicians from going on strike, NHS administrators are preparing for a summer of mayhem.nBritish Medical Association (BMA) officials stated that even if politicians offered advisers 50%, it would still just be a “drop in the ocean.”nThis is true despite the fact that NHS consultants currently make an average of £128,000 a year and that the union has separately called for a pay increase of 35% for junior doctors.nThe contentious conflict between ministries and health unions may worsen as a result of the chairman and vice-chairman of the BMA’s Consultants Committee’s remarks.nIn England, disagreements with nurses and young physicians are still open, raising the possibility of all three coordinated strikes for
Doctors in training have demanded a 35 percent pay rise
Unlike nurses and doctors in training, consultants have yet to strike. But more than 30,000 votes are cast and it certainly looks like they will vote for action, after 86 percent did so in a test vote in March. Voting closes at the end of June.
Commenting on the little-known Senior Review podcast, Dr Sharma said: ‘We now have to start from scratch and say what a doctor should be paid in the UK in 2023. We can argue that it should be 50 percent higher, the government can argue whatever it should be. And I have to say, even 50 percent… is still a drop in the ocean compared to America, Australia and other places.”
Dr. Henley added: ‘When you consider… the 17 years of training, the stress, difficulty and complexity of what you’re doing, you’re worth every penny.
“So the question to you is, ‘What do we do?’ Are we going to say on Newsnight that we’re demanding a 50 percent raise… well, of course I would.’
Health Secretary Steve Barclay yesterday stood by the government’s position, saying it would not improve its pay offering to nurses, including a one-off payment equivalent to 2 per cent of salaries in FY 2022/23 and a 5 per cent increase for 2023/24.
It was rejected by members of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) last month, despite union boss Pat Cullen recommending that it be accepted.
The RCN is already voting its 300,000 members into further strike action over the next six months. When asked by Sky News whether the government would resume talks with the union, Mr Barclay said: ‘Not on the level of wages.’
Talks with the BMA over junior doctors’ pay also broke down after the union rejected a 5 per cent offer, with Mr Barclay telling the BBC yesterday: ‘They haven’t changed from 35 per cent, that’s key.’
But Dr Vivek Trivedi, co-chair of the BMA’s Junior Doctors Committee, said: ‘We’ve been very consistent in what we want and that is to recover the pay doctors have lost over the last 15 years… 35 per cent to April [last year].’
Responding to his podcast comments, Dr Sharma said, “Consultants are just fed up and that’s why we’re being forced to vote for union action.” A spokesman for the Ministry of Health said: “We urge the BMA to carefully consider the likely impact of any action on patients.”
Dame Helen Stokes-Lampard, president of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, said the decisions were ‘clinically guided’ and ‘focused primarily on improving the quality of care’.
Talks with the BMA over junior doctors’ pay also broke down after the union rejected a 5 percent bid
She said: ‘I know that every step of the way, the team has consulted with medical experts, specialist clinicians, those who hire services and a large number of patient groups.
Reaching consensus has not always been easy, but it has been worth it. The fact that the program also reduces unwarranted variation across the country and helps to address the backlog and frees up valuable clinical time is also a huge bonus.” But GPs are concerned about the impact this will have on GPs, who are already struggling to cope with the increasing demand.
Dr. Margaret Ikpoh, from the Royal College of GPs (RCGP), expressed concern that the changes could overburden GPs.
She said: ‘Plans to reduce pressure on hospitals cannot be carried out in isolation without considering the impact on family medicine and the enormous workload and staffing pressures faced by GPs and their teams.’
NHS bosses could be set for a summer of chaos as doctors’ union hints that pay offers aren’t enough