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Strike ends: 83% Senior doctors and dentists accept Government’s pay offer

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A 2.85% increase offered to consultants with 4 to 7 years of experience along with reform proposals by the government

In a significant development, the British Medical Association’s (BMA) consultants committee has voted to accept the government’s offer on pay for senior doctors in England, along with proposed reforms to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB).

This decision follows a prolonged dispute between consultants and the government, which spanned over a year, involving unprecedented industrial actions.

Committee Chair Vishal Sharma described the agreement as “the end of the beginning” in consultants’ endeavors to restore their pay levels to those of 2008.

Stressing the importance of the review body’s independence in averting future pay disputes, Sharma emphasized the imperative role of utilizing this autonomy effectively.

A staggering 83% of consultants participating in the three-week referendum voted in favor of accepting the offer, signaling a widespread endorsement of the agreement within the profession.

The deal not only represents an improvement on a previous offer rejected in January but also includes significant reforms to the DDRB.

These reforms aim to reinstate the body’s original purpose and independence, including changes in member appointments and constraints on its remit by the government.

Moreover, the offer acknowledges the historical losses suffered by doctors and the competitive international market for medical professionals, ensuring that the review body considers these factors in its deliberations.

While the agreement entails changes to the consultant pay scale, it includes a 2.85% (£3,000) uplift for medical practitioners in service for four to seven years, who were initially excluded from additional uplifts.

Despite this progress, Dr. Sharma stressed that the fight for fair pay and recognition is ongoing.

“Consultants have shown they are not afraid to act when they need to, and ministers, whether present or future. It’s in the Government’s and DDRB’s gift to avoid this, starting with the pay round for the coming year.”

Meanwhile, other disputes persist across the UK, with consultants and staff in Wales and Northern Ireland gearing up for industrial actions, while junior doctors in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland remain embroiled in disputes with their respective governments.

The referendum, held between March 14 and April 3, witnessed a turnout of 62% among BMA consultant members, underlining the significance and broad participation in the decision-making process within the medical community.

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