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Will your pay be protected?


Dr X became a consultant in Paediatrics in 2014. They contacted MDS because they wanted to switch specialities to become at General Practitioner, which required them to re-train for 3 years at ST1 level. Dr X was worried that there would be a salary drop and they wanted to know whether their salary as a Consultant could be protected when they switched to training as a GP.

NHS 2016 Terms of service:
Dr X’s contract incorporated the NHS 2016 Terms of Service. This document at Schedule 2, Paragraphs 29 to 52 states that the 2016 contract provides permanent pay protection for some practitioners re-entering training into recognised hard to fill specialities. In addition to this, the Pay and Conditions (M&D) 2/2016 Circular categorises hard to fill speciality training
programmes as higher training in emergency medicine (ST4+), General Practice and Psychiatry.

Eligibility for pay protection:
At this time, in order to be eligible for pay protection, the practitioner must fall under the following:
• Have at least 13 months’ continuous service in the same nationally recognised career grade at the point immediately prior to re-entering training.
• Move immediately from their nationally recognised career grade to the hard to fill training programme.


Dr X had worked continuously for four years as a Consultant Paediatrician, prior to joining the ST1 GP training post, thus meeting the 13 months’ continuous service criteria. Dr X’s previous post as a Consultant Paediatrician is a recognised career grade post. Dr X’s GP training post is listed as one of the hard to fill specialities. MDS advised Dr X that they currently meet the criteria to be eligible for pay protection, and that they should be entitled to protection of their basic Consultant salary in the new GP training post.

Limitations to pay protection:
• Pay protection is only eligible for a practitioner’s basic salary, only for so long as it is favourable to do so. Therefore, a practitioner cannot earn more through pay protection.

Practical points:
• The NHS support and understand that Practitioner’s may wish to change their specialities during their careers.
• The NHS have assisted in allowing practitioners to make employment transitions with the bonus of having their pay grades protected, through the introduction of hard to fill specialities.