29 May 2018
The Department of Health has launched an independent review into the causes of a 15% gender pay gap between male and female NHS doctors.
The review will be led by Professor Jane Dacre, President of the Royal College of Physicians and a doctor, and will investigate the obstacles that are preventing female medics from progressing in their careers.
Male doctors currently take home an average of £67,788 in basic pay compared with £57,569 for female doctors, a gap of over £10,000.
The discrepancy in pay can be accounted for by the fact that a greater percentage of male medics take on highly paid senior roles, while a larger proportion of female medics are in lower-paid jobs.
The gender pay gap is even larger when the NHS is taken as a whole, with female staff being paid 23% less than male staff, and while this review will focus on doctors, it is thought its recommendations may be rolled out across the organisation to benefit other groups of staff.
Some of the issues the review will look into include the impact of motherhood, access to flexible working, shared parental leave, the suitability of working patters, and the affordability of hiring childcare.
In particular, consultant training is a time-consuming process that those with responsibilities outside of work may not be able to commit to, and pay progression is based on time served.
“Previous reports and initiatives have identified many of the root causes, so there is no shortage of evidence about this unacceptable situation,” Dacre said.
“Over 50% of medical school entrants are women, and we owe it to them and their future commitment to the NHS to ensure they are treated fairly.”