Professor Jackie Taylor, the President of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow has called for a long-term solution to be found to retain experienced NHS consultants in the health service. The call follows separate announcements this week by the UK and Scottish Governments of short-term measures designed to encourage consultants to maintain or increase their working hours over the busy winter period.
For doctors in England, pension tax bills will be covered by the NHS until 31 March 2020. You can read further details of this plan on the NHS England website.
The Scottish Government is introducing an interim policy from 1 December 2019 to give eligible NHS staff the option to get their employer pension contributions paid to them as part of their basic pay. This scheme will also run until 31 March 2020. Further details of this are available on the Scottish Government’s website.
Professor Taylor said:
“The announcements by the UK and Scottish Governments that they will both take limited, short-term action to mitigate the current pensions crisis is welcome, but it’s still clear that we need a long-term solution to this crucial issue. It’s now obvious to all that the current pension annual allowance taper is the root cause of this problem, and so we hope that all parties will bring forward proposals for UK-wide tax reforms in their election manifestos in order that we can sort this serious matter out once and for all.
“It is vital to maintaining patient care that we retain experienced staff within the health service, especially when our own recent research has shown that staff shortages are already widespread throughout the UK.
“Experienced NHS staff know that it’s in no-ones long-term interest use a sticking plaster solution when surgery is required.”