Nurses' fury as consultants reach pay deal with government that could end strikes

27 November 2023, 21:03

Consultant Doctors Strike in London.
Consultant Doctors Strike in London. Picture: Alamy

By Natasha Clark and Will Taylor

Nurses are "incredibly disappointed" and "disgusted" that doctors have been given a bigger pay rise.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The chief nurse of the Royal College of Nursing, Nicola Ranger, said she was outraged to see the agreement and has warned more strikes could come.

Around 55,000 consultants will be balloted on whether to accept the deal, which will see their pay bands restructured.

It will see the number of bands shrink down from 19 down to 14, and will make it easier for them to go up a band.

Consultant Doctors Strike in London
Consultant Doctors Strike in London. Picture: Getty

"[I am] incredibly disappointed, pretty disgusted and pretty outraged that once again the real value of nursing is not being recognised financially by this government," she told LBC's Iain Dale.

"So, a huge sense of disappointment."

She told The Times: "It's galling that almost 12 months since nursing staff took the unprecedented decision to strike, our pay dispute remains unresolved and the government continues to undervalue our profession.

"Today's news will ignite our members' fury further, making nursing strikes more likely in the future."

The doctors' contracts haven't been renegotiated since 2003.

There will be extra cash for the deal, which was announced this lunchtime between the Government, the BMA and the HCSA union.

Victoria Atkins, the new Health Secretary, met with the unions in her first week in the job.

Read More: Train strikes: Full list of December 2023 dates and rail lines affected

Read More: Sunak: NHS strikes ‘holding back progress’ on cutting waiting lists

It has led to hopes that the ongoing strikes with junior doctors could also be resolved.

"I hugely value the work of NHS consultants and am pleased that we have been able to make this fair and reasonable offer after weeks of constructive negotiations," Ms Atkins said.

"If accepted, it will modernise pay structures, directly addressing gender pay issues in the NHS. It will also enhance consultants’ parental leave options.

"Putting an end to this strike action will support our efforts to bring down waiting lists and offer patients the highest quality care."

Nurse accuses former Health Secretary of deliberately 'defunding' the NHS

The BMA's consultants committee chair, Dr Vishal Sharma, said he is pleased they have an offer than can be put to members but said it was a "huge shame" that the action was needed in the first place

"The 4.95% investment and much-needed changes to the pay scale system comes after we successfully persuaded the Government to reform the punitive pension taxation laws earlier this year, and we also now have commitments to reforming the pay review process, which has been a key ask from the profession throughout our dispute," he said.

"Only by restoring the independence of this process can we hope to restore consultant pay over the coming years.

“How each consultant will benefit will depend on their individual circumstances, and we will be providing them with as much detail as we can, so they are able to look carefully through the details to help them decide whether to accept the offer.”

About 150,000 doctors in England were given a pay rise earlier after Steve Barclay, the heath secretary, decided to impose a 6% pay rise for consultants and an average of 8.8% for junior doctors.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

The Kering Foundation Hosts First-Ever Caring For Women Dinner

Emma Watson ‘stalker’ arrested after demanding to see Harry Potter star at Oxford fashion show

Passengers are facing delays across the country

Is your flight delayed? Airports and airlines issue updates after mass IT outage causes travel chaos around the world

Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was detained last March on spying charges

American journalist jailed for 16 years in Russia after being convicted of espionage

People have been out enjoying the sunshine ahead of the weekend.

Hot hot hot! Temperatures soar to 31C today and 30C tomorrow after an uncomfortable tropical night tonight

Harehill descended into chaos yesterday evening

Starmer condemns ‘shocking and disgraceful’ disorder after riot sweeps through Leeds

Joe Biden and Barack Obama worked in office together between 2008 and 2016

Biden planning ‘major announcement’ about his future as Obama says he must ‘seriously consider stepping down’

Zara McDermott opened up about the "extremely distressing" events that occurred behind the scenes at Strictly Come Dancing.

Zara McDermott hits back after ex-Strictly pro Graziano Di Prima claims he only kicked her once

Lee Laudat-Scott is charged with touching a boy under 13.

Former Labour councillor Lee Laudat-Scott charged with sexual assault of a child

Graham Gomm

Urgent manhunt as prisoner escapes custody at HMP Wormwood Scrubs during trip to hospital

Dominic Reid and Prince Harry

Prince Harry's charity boss quits as head of Invictus Games days after duke sees backlash over veterans' award

CrowdStrike sign and logo at headquarters in Silicon Valley

What is CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity company ‘responsible’ for global IT failure? Microsoft outages explained

Keir Starmer welcomes Volodymyr Zelenskyy to Downing Street

Starmer greets Zelenskyy as Ukrainian President becomes first foreign leader to address UK cabinet since Bill Clinton

Roger Hallam was jailed for five years over M25 protests

‘Their protests are pathetic’: Armed forces minister slams Just Stop Oil as founder give five-year prison sentence

2024 Republican National Convention: Day 4

Hulk Hogan tears off shirt on stage at Republican national convention as he declares 'Trumpmania'

Clean up has begun following the riot in Leeds

Clean-up begins after riot sweeps through Leeds neighbourhood with bus set on fire and police car overturned

The outage is being felt across the world

Global IT outage LIVE: CrowdStrike outage could be ‘biggest cyber incident in history’ as GP surgeries and banks hit