NHS Doctors Pay Rise: A Boost for Healthcare Professionals

NHS Doctors Pay Rise: A Boost for Healthcare Professionals

The National Health Service (NHS) plays a crucial role in providing healthcare services to millions of people in the United Kingdom. Ensuring that healthcare professionals are fairly compensated is essential for attracting and retaining top talent.

In a significant development the government has accepted the recommendations of the Independent Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) regarding a pay rise for NHS doctors.

This pay increase will benefit various categories of doctors, including those in training, consultants, Speciality and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors, and dentists.

NHS pay rise breakdown

The pay rise will be implemented retrospectively from April 2023, benefiting around 150,000 NHS doctors. Let’s take a closer look at how different categories of doctors will be affected:

NHS Doctors in Training

First year doctors in training will receive a substantial 10.3% pay increase. This means that the basic pay for a first year junior doctor will rise from £29,300 to £32,300.

For junior doctors in core training with three years of experience, their pay will increase from £40,200 to £43,900.

The pay boost is the governments way of recognisising the dedication and hard work of doctors in training and aims to incentivise them to pursue their careers within the NHS.

NHS Consultants

Consultants who hold senior positions within the NHS will also see a pay increase. Their pay scales will rise by 6%, resulting in a starting basic full time pay of £93,600.

When taking into account on call payments and other activities, the average consultant’s NHS earnings will reach £134,000 per tax year.

It’s important to note that this increase builds upon the 4.5% pay rise consultants received last year.

Additionally significant pension reforms have been implemented including an increase in the annual allowance for tax free pension saving by 50% to £60,000 and the removal of the £1 million lifetime cap.

Speciality and Associate Specialist (SAS) Doctors and Dentists

SAS doctors and dentists who provide specialized care within the NHS, will also benefit from the pay rise.

The details of the exact increases for this category are yet to be announced. However, it is expected that the pay rise will be proportionate and commensurate with the increases received by doctors in training and consultants.

NHS professionals additional benefits

In addition to the pay rise some NHS doctors and dentists may also be eligible for performance pay, overtime, pay progression, and pay increases resulting from promotions.

These additional benefits further enhance the overall compensation package for healthcare professionals.

Government’s perspective

The Health and Social Care Secretary, Steve Barclay, has emphasised the government’s commitment to valuing the work of NHS staff.

He has urged the British Medical Association (BMA) to call off strike action, emphasising that the pay award is final.

Barclay highlights that the strike action only serves to lengthen waiting lists, harm patients, and put more pressure on healthcare professionals.

The government aims to protect frontline services and has prioritised funding the pay rise within existing departmental budgets to avoid additional borrowing, which could lead to inflationary pressures and potentially higher interest rates.

Health and Social Care Secretary Steve Barclay said:

I hugely value the work of NHS staff, and we’re giving junior doctors, consultants and senior NHS staff a fair pay rise as recommended by the independent pay review bodies – which is above what most in the public and private sectors are receiving.

We have worked at speed to ensure they will start receiving this in their pay packets this month. I’ve been clear this pay award is final and I urge the BMA to end its callous and calculated strike action – these are only serving to lengthen waiting lists, harm patients and put more pressure on their colleagues.

Retaining and attracting experienced Doctors

Recognising the importance of retaining experienced doctors and encouraging retired staff to return the government has implemented various measures.

Alongside the pension tax reforms announced in the budget, retirement flexibilities have been introduced to make it easier and more attractive for retired staff to return to service.

From April 1, 2023, restrictions on the amount of work that retired staff can do upon returning to service have been lifted.

This allows them to rejoin the scheme and build more pension. Furthermore, from October 1, 2023, a partial retirement option will be introduced, enabling staff to claim a portion of their pension benefits while continuing to work and build further pension.

These measures aim to address workforce shortages, provide more appointments, alleviate winter pressures, and ensure that patients receive the best care possible.

The governments aim

The acceptance of the recommendations by the Independent Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration marks a significant milestone in recognising the invaluable contributions of NHS doctors and dentists.

The additional benefits and pension reforms further enhance the overall package, supporting the recruitment and retention of experienced healthcare professionals.

By investing in the well being and job satisfaction of NHS doctors the government aims to ensure the provision of high quality healthcare services to the British public.

Are you due a Doctors tax rebate?

An increase in pay usually means an increase in your tax bill so it’s a good time to consider if you can claim a tax rebate for expenses incurred because of your job.

Most NHS employees can claim back some sort of tax relief for expenses ranging from uniform cleaning to a stethoscope.

A claim can be backdated by HMRC for up to the last four tax years and after a successful claim your tax code is typically changed to include the tax relief moving forward (giving you continued tax savings).

You can potentially receive tax relief of up to 45% which is a substantial sum when added up over the time of your memberships.

A doctors tax rebate can be claimed for:

  • Membership fees into professional bodies like the BMA, GMC, MPS and the MDU.
  • Royal college and examination expenses and even re-sits (hopefully not necessary).
  • Equipment like a stethoscope.
  • Travel for work related journeys but not for normal commuting to what HMRC class as a permanent work location. An example of an allowable journey for a doctor would be making a home visit to a patient. A mileage tax rebate would only be allowable if you are not reimbursed the full approved mileage rates tax free by your employer.

How do I claim an NHS Doctors tax rebate?

Doctors  and other NHS professionals can make a claim online by completing a form P87 or a self assessment tax return.

A self assessment tax return only needs to be completed if your job related expenses are worth £2500 or more in any one tax year or you need to be complete a tax return for a different reason (for example you have income from a rental property).

If you use or are thinking of using an accountant to complete your self assessment tax return make sure you pass on the details of your allowable expenses so they can be included in your return.


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