Our negotiating partners

Doctors transporting bed

NHS Employers works with different organisations to agree national contracts for the following medical and dental professions in England:

We negotiate with the relevant trades unions on the terms and conditions of service (TCS) in those contracts.

We work with the British Dental Association (BDA) to agree TCS for SPCDs.
Our negotiating partners for the medical contracts are the British Medical Association (BMA) and the Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association (HCSA). Both organisations are recognised by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and NHS Employers for the purposes of national collective bargaining for medical contracts (where relevant to their membership). 

The BMA has been recognised for these purposes since 1974 and the HCSA since 22 December 2016. Both unions are recognised through participation in the NHS wide Staff Council arrangements for pay and terms and conditions common to all NHS staff groups.

National recognition does not automatically guarantee local recognition, which is a matter for NHS organisations locally.

Contract negotiations for consultants are currently on hold, however both trade unions are actively involved in negotiations for a Local Clinical Excellence Awards (LCEA) successor scheme, to come into effect on 1 April 2021. For more information on the interim 2018-2020 LCEA scheme see our LCEA web pages, which will be updated as discussions progress. 

The BMA is leading the SAS and junior doctor negotiations for the trade unions. The HCSA is not engaged in formal negotiations with NHS Employers on the SAS or junior contract reform agenda as it represents a proportionately small number of members from the SAS and junior doctor workforce.  HCSA remains, however, an important stakeholder and its views and feedback from its members around SAS and juniors’ issues will be sought to inform our discussions. 

The DHSC is party to all contract negotiations and we also involve wider stakeholders, including NHS England and Improvement, Health Education England, the Medical Royal Colleges, the Universities and Colleges Employers Association and the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards.


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