26 January, 2024

BMA Urges Government to Reconsider Pay Offer for Consultants in England

In a recent development, the British Medical Association (BMA) has called on the UK Government to reevaluate and enhance its proposed pay offer for consultants in England. This plea comes in the aftermath of a referendum in which 51.1% of BMA consultant members voted against the existing offer. The rejection underscores consultants’ dissatisfaction with the current proposal and reflects concerns about its adequacy in addressing the ongoing recruitment and retention crisis for senior doctors.

The Vote Outcome:

Between December 14 and January 23, BMA consultant members participated in a referendum, resulting in a slim majority rejecting the pay offer. Dr Vishal Sharma, the chair of the BMA consultants committee, emphasised that the vote demonstrates consultants’ belief that the current offer falls short in resolving the dispute and providing a sustainable solution to the broader issues faced by senior doctors.

Consultant Concerns:

Dr Sharma highlighted several concerns raised by members during the referendum process. These concerns include doubts about the offer’s effectiveness in tackling pay erosion over the coming years, its fairness across different groups of doctors, and the perceived impact on professional development time, as well as time dedicated to teaching and research. The close margin of the vote indicates a widespread sentiment among consultants that the proposed changes do not adequately address their apprehensions.

Consultants Committee’s Decision:

In response to the referendum results, the BMA consultants committee has formally rejected the existing pay offer. However, the committee is extending an olive branch to the Government by providing an opportunity to enhance the proposal to a level that could garner acceptance from the consultant members.

Dr Sharma’s Statement:

Dr Vishal Sharma, expressing the sentiments of the consultant committee, stated, “The vote has shown that consultants do not feel the current offer goes far enough to end the current dispute and offer a long-term solution to the recruitment and retention crisis for senior doctors.” He further stressed that the committee is open to dialogue with the Government to address the concerns raised by consultants and explore possibilities for an improved offer.

The Way Forward:

In the coming days, the BMA consultants committee plans to engage further with consultants to gather additional feedback and insights. Simultaneously, the committee aims to initiate talks with the Government to discuss potential amendments to the existing pay offer. The hope is to find common ground that addresses the concerns voiced by consultant members and ensures a fair and sustainable solution to the challenges faced by senior doctors.


The rejection of the pay offer by BMA consultant members sends a clear message to the Government about the need for a more comprehensive and acceptable proposal. As both parties prepare for further discussions, the focus remains on finding a resolution that not only satisfies the immediate concerns of consultants but also contributes to a sustainable and equitable healthcare system in England.

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