HCSA on Gender Pay Gap in Medicine Review interim findings

The Department of Health and Social Care has today published the initial findings of Professor Jane Dacre's Gender Pay Gap in Medicine review, which HCSA is contributing to as a key stakeholder.

Data collected to date confirms that:

  • women are underrepresented in senior medical grades, with 32,000 male consultants compared to 18,000 female
  • two-thirds of doctors in training grades are women, but they represent less than half of consultant grades
  • women are over-represented in lower-paid specialties, such as public health and occupational health, but under-represented in the highest-paying specialties, such as urology and surgery
  • there is variation across medical specialties, with male-dominated specialties such as urology showing a higher gender pay gap.

The final report, which is due in September, will look at various contributory factors and will recommend a series of remedial steps and cultural changes required to rebalance outcomes for medical women.

Commenting on the release of the interim findings, HCSA Chair and President-elect Dr Claudia Paoloni said: “The findings to date confirm that the gender pay gap facing women medics is real, large, and gets worse the longer you work in the NHS. Bridging the gap is not just a matter of fairness and equality. Medical women in training heavily outnumber men, and women at the top often retire earlier than men, which means closing it is also all the more urgent if we are to tackle the staff retention crisis facing the NHS.

“In a week when the corporate world was accused of dragging its feet on even reporting the scale of their pay gaps, with just a third of firms submitting required data, we can be proud our NHS is not just acknowledging the problem but investigating practical ways to implement real change. As one of very few medical women leaders I'm also extremely proud that HCSA is part of the process.

“The challenge between now and September, when the final report is due, is to deliver practical recommendations around culture, systems and reward. We need fair treatment for female-dominated specialties and in how promotions take place, we need to remove barriers to progression facing main carers, and we need to ensure reward schemes don’t disadvantage less than full time or flexible working. Just as importantly, when they come, we need to see the proposed remedies implemented in full.”

HCSA is one of the main stakeholders in the review, alongside the Medical Women's Federation, BMA and GMC.