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Government response to the 47th report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration

Statement made on 22 July 2019

Statement UIN HCWS1765


I am responding on behalf of my Rt. Hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 47th Report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB). The report has been laid before Parliament today (Cm148) and a copy is attached. I am grateful to the Chair and members of the DDRB for their report.

The government is today announcing pay rises for Doctors and Dentists working across the NHS.

Building on our ambition to make the NHS the Best Place to Work, as set out in the NHS Interim People Plan, this is a pay rise that recognises the hard work and dedication of Doctors and Dentists and puts forward an approach for a potential multi-year deal with contract reform for specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors to enhance recruitment, retention, morale and productivity for this group.

We have recently agreed multi-year deals for both non-medical Agenda for Change staff and Doctors and Dentists in training and this is part of our approach to make the NHS the best employer in the world whilst supporting the NHS workforce to deliver excellent patient care.

Thanks to the government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low, we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy, allowing us to attract and retain the best people for our hospitals.

We consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. Public sector pay needs to be fair both for public sector workers and the taxpayer. Around a quarter of all public spending is spent on pay and we need to ensure that our public services remain affordable for the future.

It is also vital that our world class public services continue modernising to meet rising demand for the incredible services they provide, which improve our lives and keep us safe.

This pay rise represents one of the biggest uplifts in pay for medical staff for over a decade. In addition to their pay, medical staff continue to benefit from defined benefit pensions, which are amongst the most generous available.

Today’s pay award is worth:

  • Between £1,940 and £2,630 for consultants
  • Between £970 and £1,820 for Specialty Doctors
  • Between £1,360 and £2,250 for Associate Specialists

The DDRB were asked not to make a pay recommendation for General Medical Practitioners as this is the first year of the recently announced five-year contract deal. As part of this agreement, core general practice funding will increase by £978 million per year by 2023/24 providing greater certainty for GMPs to plan ahead.

The Government’s response to the DDRB recommendations takes account of affordability in the context of the NHS Long Term Plan and the 2019 Spending Review. Given the NHS budget is now set for the next five years, there is a direct trade-off between pay and staff numbers and our response takes account of this trade-off.

The Government’s response is as follows:


  • A 2.5% general uplift in pay backdated to April 2019.
  • the value of both national and old style local clinical excellence awards (CEAs) to be frozen

Specialty Doctors (new grade 2008) and Associate Specialist (closed grade) (SAS doctors)

The government takes note of the DDRB’s comments on the particular issues of morale and motivation in relation to this group that led to their pay recommendation. We agree that investment in raising the profile and attractiveness of SAS doctor roles is important and we are committing to negotiations on a multi-year pay agreement, incorporating contract reform for SAS doctors. SAS doctors will receive

  • A 2.5% general uplift in pay backdated to April 2019.
  • The potential for an additional 1%, on top of the 2.5% already paid to be added to pay in 2020/21 conditional on contract reform, through a multi-year agreement.

Doctors and dentists in training

On 27 June the government announced that Junior Doctors had overwhelmingly backed a four year deal incorporating pay increases and improved flexibility and working conditions. This brings to an end the junior doctors dispute and the British Medical Association (BMA) and NHS Employers have now collectively agreed the amended Junior Doctor Contract.

The four year deal guarantees pay increases of 2% per annum for the next four years and there will in addition be around £90m of investment into the contract including a new pay point for the most senior doctors in training, an allowance for those working less than full time to support flexible working and increased pay for those working the most weekends or whose shifts end in the early hours of the morning. Taken alongside an 8.2% four year pay rise, this will give junior doctors and current medical students the support they fully deserve.

General Dental Practitioners

  • A 2.5% general uplift in the pay element of their contract backdated to April 2019.

General Medical Practitioner Trainers and Appraisers

  • A 2.5% increase in full to the value of the GMP trainers grant and the GMP appraisers’ grant.

Linked statements

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords

Department of Health and Social Care
Government response to the 47th report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration
Baroness Blackwood of North Oxford
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Lords)
Conservative, Life peer
Statement made 22 July 2019