PRESS RELEASE: the government's response to the DDRB report

The Doctors’ Association UK Press Release regarding the Government response to the 46th report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration


The Secretary of State for Health and Social Care ‘values and fights for NHS staff’ by extending the public sector pay cap for thousands of doctors

The Doctors’ Association UK is dismayed to read the written statement to Parliament this morning by the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on the pay award for 2018-19 for doctors in England. Once again, doctors are left angry, disappointed and feeling undervalued. The new Secretary of State spoke less than a week ago about ‘valuing, admiring and fighting for NHS staff’. Unfortunately, today’s announcement could not be further from that.

Doctors across England have faced real terms pay cuts for several years, and the pay award of 2% announced this morning condemns many doctors to at least another year of below inflation pay rises. At a time where doctors are leaving the NHS, others are retiring early due to burnout, a government pay strategy is required that truly reflects the work that doctors do.

To add insult to injury, this below inflation pay will not be backdated to April 2018 like other public sector professions. This effectively halves the pay uplift that has been announced for the 2018-19 tax year and reduces it to the level of the previously imposed 1% cap, or even below for certain groups of doctors. The message this gives to the profession is that we are not valued or respected public servants. It goes further to single out doctors as the only profession in the public sector where the pay cap essentially still remains.

The Doctors’ Association UK urges the government in the strongest terms to reconsider its position. Unless it does that, it risks further demoralising doctors who are already at breaking point, and risks further destabilising the NHS which has been operating on the goodwill of its workforce for too long.



1.     Throughout early 2018 the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration on doctors’ and dentists’ pay in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland received written and oral submissions about the pay for Doctors and Dentists

2.     The government response to the DDRB report was published as a written statement to parliament on 24th July 2018 by Rt. Hon Matthew Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

3.     The public sector pay cap has resulted in real terms pay cuts below the rate of inflation for several years.

4.     Doctors are the only profession where the pay reward has not been backdated to April, thereby compounding the problem further and effectively awarding 1% or less for some doctors.