How much do junior doctors earn? Salary and pay scales as new strike date looms

Striking NHS junior doctors on the picket line outside Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham during a previous strike  (Jacob King / PA Wire)
Striking NHS junior doctors on the picket line outside Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham during a previous strike (Jacob King / PA Wire)

Junior doctors are in the midst of a six-day walkout, making it their longest continuous strike in NHS history.

Thousands of British Medical Association medics decided to take industrial action after the Government and the BMA's pay negotiations broke down last month.

More than 1.1 million consultations and treatments have been cancelled because of NHS strike action in the past 12 months.

Junior doctors, who range in experience from those just out of university to those with 10 years or more, make up nearly half the doctors in the NHS.

There will be disruption to services, with hospital services most affected and GPs' surgeries also affected.

According to Sir Stephen, this walkout was "very challenging" because of the increased numbers of respiratory infections, such as the flu and Covid, as well as staff sickness during one of the busiest times of the year for the health service.

How much do junior doctors earn?

There are two national pay scales for doctors in training in England and pay is also determined by their years of experience and their role.

Junior doctors in their first year as a foundation doctor on the 2016 contract will receive £32,398, the BMA said. In their second year, their salary increases to £37,303.

Junior doctors on the 2002 contract earn at least £28,274 during their first year and £34,769 in their second.

The BMA says junior doctors in England have witnessed real-term wage decreases in the last 15 years. This amounts to a 26.1 per cent pay drop since the 2008/09 tax year.

Why are junior doctors striking?

BMA leaders Dr Robert Laurenson and Dr Vivek Trivedi said on July 13: “Today marks the start of the longest single walkout by doctors in the NHS’s history, but this is still not a record that needs to go into the history books.

“We can call this strike off today if the UK Government will simply follow the example of the government in Scotland and drop their nonsensical precondition of not talking whilst strikes are announced and produce an offer which is credible to the doctors they are speaking with.

“The pay offer on the table to junior doctors in Scotland and how it was reached throws into sharp relief the obstinate approach being taken by the prime minister and the health secretary, Steve Barclay.

“The health secretary has said there can be no talks while strikes are planned – Scotland has proved him wrong. He said above 5% wasn’t realistic – Scotland proved him wrong. He refused to even acknowledge the concept of pay restoration – Scotland proved this is not only possible but essential.”

The BMA leaders have asked for talks have to be resumed, adding: “The Government’s refusal to talk with junior doctors in England who have strikes planned is out of keeping with all norms of industrial action.”