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Senior doctors accept pay deal in England

Some senior doctors in England have accepted a pay offer from the government.

It means speciality and associate specialist (SAS) doctors – medics who have finished junior doctor training but are not working as either consultants or GPs – have joined their consultant colleagues in ending their dispute.

SAS doctors had not yet taken strike action, but had been threatening to do so.

The pay deal is worth up to 19.4% and includes reform of the contract and changes to career progression.

The announcement comes ahead of a planned five-day strike next week by junior doctors in the lead up to the general election.

Dr Ujjwala Mohite, chair of the BMA’s SAS Committee, said the deal marked “significant progress” in helping keeping more SAS doctors in the profession.

“We entered this dispute with the Government almost a year ago – and today’s result is a step in the right direction in restoring SAS doctors’ value in the NHS.

“A combination of burnout, eroded pay, stunted career progression, and being taken for granted by the government has seen many forced to leave the NHS altogether.

“Many SAS doctors also suffer from grade-ism – the idea that, because they don’t fit into the traditional pathways, they are somehow not as important.”

There are around 13,000 SAS doctors working in the NHS in England, the overwhelming majority in hospitals.

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