Vaughan Gething AM, Minister for Health and Social Services
I am responding today to the 47th Report of the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) which was laid before Parliament on 22 July 2018. I am grateful to the Chair and members of the DDRB for their report and I welcome their robust independent recommendations and observations. I know too that their advice is greatly valued by NHS management, trade unions and staff alike.
My response to the DDRB recommendations takes account of the affordability of the award, our ambitions set out in A Healthier Wales and our desire to continue to work in social partnership with BMA Cymru Wales to address the challenges of equality, recruitment, retention and productivity within the medical workforce.
I am, therefore, pleased today to announce the following pay award for our hard working Medical and Dental staff in Wales, this includes:
- A 2.5% uplift to basic pay backdated to April 2019
- The value of both the commitment awards and the national clinical excellence awards (CEAs) to be frozen. I have ring fenced this money and I will be asking employers and BMA Cymru Wales to work together in social partnership to provide me with proposals on how this money could be used more creatively to create broader opportunities for the wider consultant workforce to be rewarded.
Specialty Doctors and Associate Specialist (SAS Doctors)
I have carefully considered the DDRB’s comments and observations on the particular issues of morale and motivation in relation to this group that led to their pay recommendation. I completely agree that investment in raising the profile and attractiveness of SAS doctor roles is very important and for that reason I was able to agree DDRB’s recommendations last year in full. This year I am committing to negotiations on a multi year pay agreement which will also incorporate contract reform for SAS doctors to ensure the grade is seen as a positive career grade which values their hard work and dedication.
SAS doctors will receive:
- a 2.5% uplift in pay backdated to April 2019, and
- the potential for an additional 1% on top of the 2.5% already added to pay in 2020/21 conditional on contract reform, through a multi year agreement.
Doctors and Dentists in training
Junior doctors in Wales remain on the New Deal contract which was introduced over 15 years ago and this is now creating some disparities between Wales and England. We are keen to work in partnership with the BMA to modernise contractual arrangements to meet the needs of the NHS and junior doctors in Wales. In the meantime, junior doctors in Wales will receive:
- A 2.5% uplift in pay backdated to April 2019
Salaried GPs and Dentists
- A 2.5% general uplift in pay backdated to April 2019
General Medical 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
General Dental Practitioners
- A 2.5% uplift in contract values backdated to April 2019
This pay award recognises the value and dedication of hardworking doctors and dentists and their key contribution to the NHS in Wales as it is one of the biggest pay uplifts for our medical and dental staff in over a decade whilst taking into account affordability and the prioritising of patient care.
The UK Treasury has provided no additional funding to help cover the cost of the award and so I have invested additional funding to enable this deal to be implemented without undermining delivery of services.
This pay award along with the current multi year deal with staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions is a very positive demonstration of our commitment to the workforce in Wales. We are keen to maintain positive progress supporting the NHS workforce to boost the health, wellbeing and engagement of our entire NHS workforce and so deliver excellent care for the people in Wales.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep Members informed. Should Members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.