RCP president Professor Jane Dacre to lead NHS pay gap review

RCP president Professor Jane Dacre will lead a government backed gender pay gap review aimed at eliminating the 15% difference between male and female doctors in the UK.

Launched by health and social care secretary Jeremy Hunt, the review will consider the obstacles that stop female doctors progressing their NHS career in the same way as their male counterparts and look at issues such as the impact of motherhood on careers and progression, access to flexible working, shared parental leave, working patterns, and care arrangements and their affordability. It is expected to be completed at the end of 2018.

Hunt, who will be appearing at the RCP's annual conference in a month's time, said: 

The NHS holds a unique position in both British and global society as a shining beacon of equality among all, and so it is unacceptable that 70 years from its creation its own staff still face gender inequality.

Even today, there remains a 15% gap between the pay of our male and female doctors – this has no place in a modern employer or the NHS and I’m determined to eliminate this gap.

I’m delighted Jane Dacre – one of the most highly respected female medics in the NHS – has agreed to lead this important review and is perfectly placed to examine the barriers that stop our talented female doctors climbing to the top rung in the NHS career ladder.

Professor Dacre added: 

I am delighted to have been asked to lead on this important review into the gender pay gap of 15% in the medical workforce.

Previous reports and initiatives have identified many of the root causes, so there is no shortage of evidence about this unacceptable situation.

I am grateful for the government’s commitment to act on the recommendations of the review, not just for women doctors now, but for our future workforce.

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.

Male doctors currently receive an average £67,788 in basic pay, compared with £57,569 for female doctors – a difference of £10,219 or 15%.

Overall the NHS has a gender pay gap of 23%, despite employing far more women than men. This is largely due to the number of highly paid male doctors being a much bigger proportion of the male NHS workforce than the equivalent percentage for women.