Written evidence to the review body on doctors' and dentists' remuneration
NHS Providers submitted written evidence to the Doctor’s and Dentists’ Remuneration Review Body (DDRB), on behalf of NHS trusts and foundation trusts to inform the 2018/19 pay round.
Key messages include:
- Workforce now surpasses the financial challenge facing the provider sector. In a recent survey of trust leaders, two thirds (66%) of provider trust chairs and chief executives reported that workforce is the most pressing challenge to delivering high-quality healthcare at their trust.
- We recognise the need to appropriately and fairly reward doctors, to support recruitment and retention and help create a motivated medical workforce. However, in the absence of additional funding from the government, an end to pay restraint for doctors would be unaffordable for provider trusts.
- The funding pressures facing the sector require a balance between the need to increase the number of staff with the need to address the factors contributing to the workforce challenges for frontline staff and employers. We would strongly urge that the review body takes account of the affordability of any pay award in making its recommendations.
- In a scenario where the pay review bodies recommend a pay award greater than 1%, less than half of HR Directors (45%) support targeting, and 42% are not supportive. The most common reason for opposing targeting was concern that it would be divisive and result in industrial relations disruption.
- Provider trusts have been working with their junior doctors over the last 12 months to address legitimate concerns voiced during the junior doctor contract dispute. Improving and rebuilding junior doctor engagement and morale continues to be a key priority.
- We would welcome a public update on the status of the consultant contract negotiations. If there is no realistic prospect of a successful conclusion, consideration should be given as to the best way forward, recognising the need to reform NHS pay, terms and conditions for consultants. Ongoing uncertainty over the status and outcome of the negotiations is not conducive to longer term planning at the local level.
- The need for a more strategic and coherent approach to workforce strategy, planning, and policy remains a priority. We have welcomed the government’s recent publication of a draft health and care national workforce strategy consultation document, which proposes a constructive start to addressing the workforce challenges facing the sector. The draft strategy helpfully provides a ten year time frame, recognising that the reforms required to address the workforce challenges facing the NHS will require a longer term horizon.