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Senior doctors in England have ended their pay dispute with the government.

Consultants who are members of the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA) have backed a fresh pay deal.

The offer will mean some consultants will receive a pay increase of nearly 20% for the financial year 2023-24.

Junior doctors in England remain in dispute with ministers over pay, and have a fresh mandate to strike.

Junior doctors and consultants are among several groups of health workers who have been taking industrial action at various points since 2022.

New pay offer

The unions said 83% of members voted to back the pay offer, which was made last month.

It was the second time a pay offer had been put to members of the BMA. The last one, made in early December, was narrowly voted against.

Consultants got a 6% pay rise in April 2023 and were then offered an extra sum worth nearly 5% on average at the end of last year.

But the amount extra individual consultants got varied considerably from nothing to an extra 12.8%.

The new offer included an extra 2.85% for those between four and seven years into their consultant careers – the group that was getting the smallest rise under the previous offer.

This pay rise will be backdated to March 2024, which means some senior doctors will see their pay increase by nearly 20%.

On top of this, consultants will be eligible for a separate pay rise for the 2024-25 financial year, which is just starting.

Dr Vishal Sharma, BMA consultants committee chair, said: “We’ve reached this point not just through our tough negotiations with the Government, but thanks to the resolve of consultants, who took the difficult decision to strike, and did so safely and effectively, on multiple occasions, sending a clear message that they would not back down.”

Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said she was “pleased” the offer had been accepted.

“Consultants will now be able to focus on providing the highest quality care for patients and we can consolidate our progress on waiting lists – which have fallen for the past four months,” she said.

The Royal College of Nursing has called the amount being handed to consultants as “galling”.

Nurses and other health workers ended their strike action last year after receiving a 5% rise and a one-off payment of £1,655.

However, the government and BMA remain a long way from solving the junior doctors’ pay dispute.

Members of the BMA in England want a 35% pay increase over the coming years.

They have a fresh six-month strike mandate after talks collapsed late last year. However, no new strike dates have been announced yet.

Junior doctors in Northern Ireland and Wales remain in dispute with the government over pay and have taken strike action.

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