The BMA’s Specialist, Associate Specialist and Specialty doctors (SAS) UK committee has voted in favour of joining strike action over the Government’s unsatisfactory pay offer.
The doctors’ union said that in the last 15 years, SAS doctors have seen their real-terms pay has plummet by as much as 31%.
The news comes as today marked the first joint strike day by junior doctors and consultants, who are already in a drawn-out pay dispute with a Government that has walked away from negotiations.
Dr Ujjwala Mohite, chair of SAS UK at the BMA, said: ‘It’s with a heavy heart that the SAS Committee has decided to go ahead with an indicative ballot for industrial action, but the Government has left us with no choice.’
And he added: ‘Today’s announcement – which comes as our consultant and junior doctor colleagues take to the pickets together – sends a clear message to the Government: that we, and most importantly, our patients, are worth more than this.
‘The Government cannot keep its head in the sand any longer and must address the undervaluing of doctors. This is an opportunity to stop another bout of NHS industrial action, and we implore the Government to take it.’
SAS doctors are senior and highly skilled healthcare professionals who did not follow the traditional consultant or GP pathway.
The majority work in hospitals, alongside junior doctors and consultants, but some also work in the community.
Plans to allow specialty and associate staff (SAS) doctors to work in general practice are not about replacing GPs, NHS England’s national director of primary care recently told Pulse.
Instead, SAS doctors could work in primary care networks (PCNs) as part of a multi-disciplinary team just like nurses and pharmacists, Dr Amanda Doyle said.