NHS Doctor's Pay Scales in the UK - Explained

  • November 20, 2020
 

Understanding your NHS job's salary or pay is essential for overseas new to the UK.

The NHS is one of the most developed health systems in the world and doctors form an integral part of delivering high quality patient care, as such they are rewarded with competitive pay rates and benefits. 

International doctors new to the NHS often ask about the pay scales, and it can be a confusing topic. Here we hope to bring some clarity here to help you understand the NHS grades and how they fit on the various NHS pay scales.

In this article we will take a look at the following topics:  

 

Trust doctor jobs and IMGs pay

It is important to note that the majority of overseas doctors will start their career in the UK in a fixed term trust doctor role (also known as a service post), before taking up a training position. Doctors across all grades can enter a service post which means to say that they are not in training or entering specialty training. 

As such, most of our adverts for fixed term or permanent posts will be service level jobs, these are usually SAS doctor, consultant, SHO or Trust doctor posts at the equivalent of FY2, ST1/2, ST3+.These can be attractive due to the improved doctor’s salaries that can be negotiated for fixed term contracts, based on experience and demand. 


The salary pay scales that we have included in this article are to be used as a guide or starting point for negotiating your trust doctor role (or service post). 


Typical NHS doctor’s salary in the UK: 

FY1 & FY2

In the most junior hospital trainee post of Foundation Year 1 (FY1) your basic salary is £28,243. In year two this increases to £32,691. 

As a doctor in training you will earn a basic salary for 40 hours per week, plus pay for additional hours worked, 37% enhancement for nights, weekend allowance for weekend work, on call allowance and other possible pay premia. 

Specialist Training (ST1 – ST8) 

If you are a doctor starting your specialist training in 2019, your basic salary starts at £38,694 and can progress to £49,036.

As a doctor in training you will earn a basic salary for 40 hours per week, plus pay for additional hours worked, 37% enhancement for nights, weekend allowance for weekend work, on call allowance and other possible pay premia. 

Specialty doctors

Specialty doctors currently earn from £41,158 to £76,751 basic pay. 

The basic contract is for 40 hours. As a specialty doctor you can be paid for additional duties, extra hours worked, weekend work and on calls. 

Consultants

Consultants currently earn from £82,096 to £110,683 basic pay.

As a consultant you can be paid for additional duties and may be eligible for Clinical Excellence Awards, which reward outstanding performance. The basic contract is for 40 hours per week.

If you take on extra responsibilities (i.e. management or education) you can also expect to be paid additional supplements. 

 

So where do I fit on the pay scale?

There are a few key points when considering where you fit on the pay scale: 

  • Job title
  • Experience
  • Hours worked
  • Trusts can be different

Job title:

The first thing to consider is your job title. 

At the Consultant level, it is straight forward, you will be a consultant. However, at the Specialty Doctor level, you could be working as an SAS doctor, a Specialty Doctor or a Trust Grade doctor. As an ST or SHO you could also work across several levels. 

Each could command a different pay scale depending on the level of work and experience required. 

Take some time to check the job title that you are applying and interviewing for, and subsequently the pay scale that you can expect. 

Experience within your chosen field: 

Next, consider the number of years of experience you have in your speciality, this is crucial to identifying your position on the pay scale. 

This is important as an NHS Trust will calculate your pay for a Specialty Doctor in Medicine by deducting two of your years of experience to compensate for the Core Training years in the UK. Please note, for some specialties this does not apply, check with an IMG Consultant for more information. 

Hours you will work: 

The second thing to consider is how many hours you will be working. For both Specialty Doctors and Consultants the hours are usually established using PAs (programmed activities). Each PA is worth 4 hrs of your week, and a standard week is 40 hrs. A standard salary is based on a full working week of 10 PAs (40 hours). If you work above 10 PAs, then you will gain additional salary on top of your basic pay. 

NHS trusts can be different: 

The last thing to consider before we look at the pay scales, is that some NHS Trusts can interpret the pay scales and a doctor’s experience in different ways. All NHS Trusts should be following the same pay scale structures when recruiting and offering salaries to doctors, but this is not always the case!  

This blog is a guideline, and if you are not sure of how to approach this discussion with a HR department, it can be very useful for an IMG Connect consultant to assist with the negotiations to ensure that your experience is always taken into account.

Pay scales:

Doctors in training pay scale

Service level jobs are in high demand at all levels of experience, each offering competitive rates of pay. It is also important to remember that once in the UK, you will have the option to apply for training, depending on your entry level. 

The below pay scale reflects the pay at each level depending on the entry points to training, which are FY1, ST1/CT1 and ST3/4. 

The salary is based on a standard working week of 10PAs (40 hours), if you work additional hours, on calls or weekend work, then your take home pay will increase as a result. 

As above, use the below as a salary guide for service level posts. It is worthwhile checking with your IMG Consultant the best pay opportunities for you, it is highly conceivable that you can earn more than the pay scales below depending on experience and demand. 

Specialty Register (StR) (Core Training)

Grade

Stage of training 

Grade Code 

Nodal Point 

Value (£) 

Foundation Doctor Year 1

FY1

MF01

1

28,243

Foundation Doctor Year 2

FY2

MF01

2

32,691

Specialty Register (StR) (Core Training)

CT1

MC51

3

38,694

CT2

MC52

38,694

CT3

MC53

4

49,036

Specialty Register (StR) (Core Training)

ST1 / SpR1

MS01

3

38,694

ST2 / SpR2

MS02

ST3 / SpR3

MS03

4

49,036

ST4 / SpR4

MS04

ST5 / SpR5

MS05

ST6 / SpR6

MS06

ST7 / SpR7

MS07

ST8 / SpR8

MS08


Specialty Doctor pay scale: 

Service level specialty doctor jobs are in high demand in the UK at all levels of experience, each offering competitive rates of pay. 

It is important to note that your pay will reflect your experience within your chosen field. 

The pay code on the left-hand side of the table below correlates to the number of years’ experience that you qualify for in your chosen specialty, and the number of years that the HR department are going to attribute to you. 

Remember to discount any years that you have worked in an internship. And if you are working in a medicine specialty, deduct any core training years. 

In the first threshold, for every year of experience you gain, this entitles you to a pay rise. In the second threshold, you will receive an increase every two years, and in the third, every three years. 

The salary is based on a standard working week of 10PAs (40 hours), if you work additional hours, on calls or weekend work, then your take home pay will increase as a result. 

As above, use the below as a salary guide for service level posts in the UK. It is worthwhile checking with your IMG Consultant the best pay opportunities for you, it is highly conceivable that you can earn more than the pay scales below depending on experience and demand. 

Pay Scale Code

Scale Value

Basic Salary (£)

Period before eligibility for next pay point

MC46-01

Min

41,158

1 year

MC46-02

1

44,677

1 year

MC46-03

2

49,252

1 year

MC46-04

3

51,704

1 year

MC46-05

4

55,237

1 year

Threshold 1

MC46-06

5

58,756

2 years

MC46-07

 

58,756

1 year

MC46-08

6

62,355

2 years

MC46-09

 

62,355

1 year

MC46-10

7

65,954

2 years

MC46-11

 

65,954

1 year

Threshold 2

MC46-12

8

65,993

3 years

MC46-13

 

65,993

2 years

MC46-14

 

65,993

1 year

MC46-15

9

73,152

3 years

MC46-16

 

73,152

2 years

MC46-17

 

73,152

1 years

MC46-18

10

76,751

-


Consultant pay scale: 

Service level consultant doctor jobs are in high demand in the UK at all levels of experience, each offering competitive rates of pay. 

At the consultant grade, HR departments will look at your years of experience within your specialty, as a consultant. 

On the table below, you can see that all you need to do is count up the total number of complete years of experience (12 months each) as a consultant, and then count down the rows to establish your salary position. 

Like the above, the salary is based on a standard working week of 10PAs (40 hours), if you work additional hours, on calls or weekend work, then your take home pay will increase as a result. 

Remember, use the below as a salary guide for service level posts in the UK. It is worthwhile checking with your IMG Consultant the best pay opportunities for you, it is highly conceivable that you can earn more than the pay scales below depending on experience and demand. 

Years completed as a consultant

Threshold

Years complete as a consultant

Basic Salary (£)

Period of eligibility for next threshold

Pay scale code

1

0

82,096

1 year

YC72 Point 00

2

1

84,667

1 year

YC72 Point 01

3

2

87,238

1 year

YC72 Point 02

4

3

89,809

1 year

YC72 Point 03

5

4

92,372

5 years

YC72 Point 04

 

5

92,372

4 years

YC72 Point 05

 

6

92,372

3 years

YC72 Point 06

 

7

92,372

2 years

YC72 Point 07

 

8

92,372

1 year

YC72 Point 08

6

9

98,477

5 years

YC72 Point 09

 

10

98,477

4 years

YC72 Point 10

 

11

98,477

3 years

YC72 Point 11

 

12

98,477

2 years

YC72 Point 12

 

13

98,477

1 years

YC72 Point 13

7

14

104,584

5 years

YC72 Point 14

 

15

104,584

4 years

YC72 Point 15

 

16

104,584

3 years

YC72 Point 16

 

17

104,584

2 years

YC72 Point 17

 

18

104,584

1 years

YC72 Point 18

8

19

110,683

-

YC72 Point 19


Additional pay, benefits, pensions and terms & conditions

Current national salary scales for medical and dental staff are published in pay and conditions circulars on the NHS Employers website. 

You may be eligible for additional pay on top of your basic salary if you work above the standard 10 PAs, work on call & weekends, or take on extra responsibilities. All doctors are eligible for NHS pensions and benefits. 

For more information on NHS doctor benefits and pay arrangements take a look at our blog

 

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