SAS contract reform 2021

Published: 22/02/2021

Today, voting opens in England for the BMA’s proposed reforms to the specialty doctor contract.

In a referendum vote, members will be asked whether they accept the introduction of two new contracts – the 2021 Specialty Doctor and the 2021 Specialist grade.

The BMA’s proposed framework document sets out a three-year agreement covering 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2024 with changes to pay structure and the terms and conditions of service.

The framework follows negotiations with the BMA, NHS England, and the Department of Health and Social Care.

Vice President Professor Will Harrop-Griffiths said:

“According to the College’s 2020 Workforce Census, SAS doctors make up more than 20 percent of the total anaesthetic workforce. They are highly valued members of our specialty who are critical to the delivery of safe and effective care across the UK.

The College is pleased to see that they are being offered a vote on a new Specialty Doctor contract and that for a new, senior grade, the Specialist grade. These proposed changes have the potential to offer our SAS doctors greater career progression, more pay and better terms and conditions. I strongly encourage SAS anaesthetists to participate in this vote.”

  • All BMA and BDA SAS grade members in Wales and England can participate in the referendum. This does not include locally employed doctors.
  • The referendum in Wales opened on Monday 8 February and will close on Monday 1 March.
  • The referendum in England opened on Monday 22 February and will close on Monday 15 March.
  • The referendum in Northern Ireland will open after the contracts package has been signed off.
  • NHS Employers are hosting three webinars on 22 February, 23 February and 2 March to explain the framework, the timeline for implementation and what steps employers need to take next.