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BMJ. 2007 July 21; 335(7611): 117.
PMCID: PMC1925188

Hospital consultants' NHS salaries top £110 000

Hospital consultants in England earned on average the full time equivalent of £111 800 (€165 300; $228 050) a year for their NHS work in the first quarter of 2007, new data show.

This figure, which excludes any income from private work, represents a 16% increase in NHS earnings for hospital consultants since 2004.

The figures, from the NHS's Information Centre, are the first to be collected since Agenda for Change, the new system of pay and conditions, was introduced in the NHS in 2004. They are also the first to be collected from the electronic staff record, a new payroll system being rolled out across the NHS and currently used by 49% of NHS organisations in England. The figures are based on pay data collected between January and March 2007.2007.

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The data highlight the disparity between consultants' pay and that of associate specialist and staff grade specialists, who earned an average yearly salary of £63 800 over the same period.

The data show that trainee doctors in foundation year 1 received a basic annual salary of £20 900 and earned 53% more as additional payments (such as overtime pay, location payments, and redundancy pay), bringing their total earnings to £31 900. Doctors in foundation year 2 or who were senior house officers earned a basic salary of £29 600 and a mean total income of £45 900.

Qualified nurses earned a basic annual salary of £26 100, which, with an additional 15% from extra payments, brings their total earnings to £30 100, a 14% increase on the 2004 figure.

Of all the NHS staff groups analysed only ambulance staff saw a greater proportional rise in their salary than consultants. Qualified ambulance staff outside London now earn an average of £32 100—an increase of 39% since 2004. However, this increase is thought to be largely due to changes in conditions that result in technicians and paramedics receiving payments for work done in unsocial hours. The mean basic pay for this group increased by 12%.


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