According to the body NHS Employers, the body representing health service employees, doctors’ pay should be frozen for the third year in a row in order to afford to maintain patent care and in a bid to minimise job losses.
NHS Employers also said in evidence to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) that there should be no increase in pay scales for NHS doctors in 2013/14, in order to “tackle an unprecedented savings challenge”.
Saying that management does not believe pay rises are “necessary or affordable”, the body went on to argue that most doctors in the NHS already benefit from annual incremental pay increases and pay progression through training, making the remuneration package for doctors “highly competitive, by the time pensions and non-pay benefits are taken into account.
The body acknowledged the difficult economic circumstance and the frustration felt by many doctors but pointed out that 65 pence of every NHS pound is spent on staff and that there needs to be a balance between the interests of patients, taxpayers and staff.
Recently the King’s Fund think tank said that an average staff pay increase of only 1 per cent would add up to £500m to NHS expenditure, which would not help the health service achieve its target £20bn in efficiency savings by 2015.
However, the British Medical Association (BMA) has slammed the suggestion, saying that NHS Employers’ argument simply did not stand up to scrutiny and would not help the problem with morale in the health sector, as doctors struggle to deal with huge efficiency savings and wholesale NHS reorganisation.
The DDRB will make its recommendation to the Government in the spring of next year, while the BMA will publish its evidence to the review body next week.
As an accountant; David Jacobs offers a range of accounting, audit and taxation advice to the legal and medical professions.