New to managing doctors? A guide for HR practitioners


This web page provides helpful information to HR practitioners that are new to managing doctors.

1. Medical and dental pay and contracts
2. Pay review
3. Pensions
4. Appointment of consultants
5. Job planning for consultants and SAS doctors
6. Revalidation
7. Disciplinary process
8. Guidance on employing locums
9. Contract reforms

1. Medical and dental pay and contracts

There are several specific contracts agreed with the BMA for employed doctors. In these pages you will find information and guidance on contracts for:
  • doctors in training (hospital and general practice)
  • specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors
  • consultants and dental consultants
  • salaried GPs
  • salaried dentists.

Each page will contain additional documents and guidance dealing with issues relevant to that group of doctors.

Go to our medical pay and contracts pages.

2. Pay review

Pay is reviewed by the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB).

NHS Employers submits evidence to the review bodies, based on information collected from employers via our policy board,  regular meetings with NHS HR directors, our medical workforce forum, and our online surveys. 

Go to our DDRB web page.

3. Pensions

NHS Employers provides support and guidance to help employers deliver the NHS Pension Scheme effectively for their organisation. These pages outline information on the NHS Pension Scheme including recent changes and resources relating to annual and lifetime allowances.

Go to our pensions web pages.

4. Appointment of consultants

The appointment of consultants in NHS trusts (but not foundation trusts) is regulated by the Appointment of Consultant Regulations 1996 (and subsequent amendments). These pages provide supporting information for employers, including extra information for public health appointments.

Go to our consultant appointments web pages.

5. Job planning for consultants and SAS doctors

Job planning is a key part of the consultant and SAS contracts and is also essential as a means of organising resources effectively and efficiently. NHS Employers has worked with the BMA to produce guidance for effective consultant and SAS job planning. These two pieces of guidance and other supporting resources are available on our consultant job planning and SAS web pages.

Go to our consultant job planning web pages.
Go to our SAS job planning web pages.

6. Revalidation

Revalidation was officially launched by the GMC in December 2012. All doctors with a licence to practise in the UK need to satisfy the GMC at regular intervals, that they are fit to practise and should retain their licence. You can find out more about medical revalidation on the GMC website. Our webpages offer a background to medical revalidation and supporting information.

Go to our medical revalidation web pages.

7. Disciplinary processes

A collective agreement for managing issues of health, conduct and capability for doctors is published by the Department of Health and Social Care. NHS Employers has published Staying on Course: Supporting doctors in difficulty through early and effective action, to help employers to put things right where possible and take correct action where not.

Further help can be obtained via the National Clinical Assessment Service (NCAS)  

Access Staying on course.

8. Guidance on employing locums

This guidance is intended to summarise the current standards governing the appointment and use of locum doctors. 

Access the locum guidance.

9. Contract reforms

NHS Employers is responsible for negotiating with the British Medical Association (BMA) on potential reforms to national contracts. In July 2019, an agreement was reached between NHS Employers, the BMA and Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on the amendments to the 2016 terms and conditions for doctors in training, also known as junior doctors.  

It is expected that NHS Employers and the BMA will be invited by DHSC to negotiate on reforms on the speciality and associate specialist (SAS) doctor grades, commencing in 2020.

Find out more about the 2018 junior doctor contract refresh.

Read Government's commitment to SAS contract reform in their response to DDRB recommendations in July 2019.

Further information

The National Association of Medical Personnel Specialists (NAMPS) is a network of medical staffing personnel, and runs a range of courses for members on medical staffing issues.  

The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges' Support for Doctors webpage has been updated and acts as signposting service that includes useful links to resources for doctors who are experiencing difficulties.

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