A Guide to NHS Scotland Payscales

Navigating NHS pay scales in Scotland can be a challenge for internationally educated clinicians. It is important for medical professionals at all levels, from junior doctors to consultants, to have a thorough understanding of the NHS salary structure – which is why we put together this guide to understanding pay scales in Scotland.

NHS Pay Systems in Scotland

In Scotland, most NHS staff are paid based on the Agenda for Change framework, which has nine pay bands and incremental pay points. This system sets the foundation for the salaries of various healthcare professionals in NHS Scotland, excluding doctors, dentists, and certain senior managers. Doctors in Scotland, including consultants and specialty doctors, have their own specific pay scales based on their roles and contracts.

Consultant Pay Scales

Consultant salaries are based on years of service as well as different contractual agreements. For consultants working on the 2004 contract, basic pay ranges from £96,963 to £128,841. Pay bands are determined by years of service and increase incrementally.

The pre-2004 contract follows a similar pay structure, with salaries starting from £80,505 and reaching £103,242 at the top end.

Threshold Value (£)
1 96,963
2 99,011
3 101,957
4 104,906
5 (5-9 years as a consultant) 107,846
6 (10-14 years) 114,846
7 (15-19 years) 121,846
8 (20+ years) 128,841

Consultants on the pre-2004 contract:

Level and Value Table
Level Value (£)
Basic 80,505
1 86,268
2 92,028
3 97,790
4 103,242

Basic Pay Scales for Specialist, Associate Specialist, and Specialty (SAS) Doctors.

SAS doctors in Scotland have specific pay scales that match their roles and experience levels. These pay scales are divided into different contracts and levels, each with its own salary progression path.

Specialty Doctor (2022) Contract

Doctors specializing in a particular field will begin with a base salary of £58,198 in the 2022 contract, which increases with experience. To progress through the pay points, doctors are expected to spend three years at each point, as long as they meet the relevant criteria for pay progress.

Pay Point and Value Table
Pay Point Value (£)
1 58,198
2 69,427
3 73,678
4 82,184
5 90,688

Specialist (2022) Contract

Specialist doctors under the 2022 contract have a similar structure, with progression expected every three years.

Pay Point and Value Table
Pay Point Value (£)
1 88,118
2 94,065
3 100,011

SAS Doctors on the 2008 Contract

For SAS doctors on the 2008 contract, pay scales vary between Associate Specialists and Specialty Doctors, with additional thresholds marking significant pay increases.

Pay Point Table
Pay Point Associate Specialist (£) Specialty Doctor (£)
0 67,163 47,905
1 72,562 52,001
2 77,959 57,325
3 85,088 60,179
4 91,265 64,291
5 93,829 68,387
6 97,174 72,574
7 99,513 76,764
8 102,762 80,953
9 106,009 85,141
10 109,259 89,329

Associate Specialists on the Pre-2008 Contract

Associate Specialists on the pre-2008 contract have a different pay structure, with discretionary points available for salary increases.

Level and Value Table
Level Value (£)
Min 49,057
1 54,254
2 59,451
3 64,645
4 69,841
5 75,036
6 81,898
7 87,842
8 90,310
9 93,530
10 96,749
11 98,979
12 102,105
13 105,235

Junior Doctors’ Pay Scales in Scotland

Junior doctors pay is based on their level of training and experience, ensuring that they progress as they advance in their medical careers. Here’s an overview of the essential pay scales for foundation doctors and speciality registrars in Scotland.

Foundation Doctors and Specialty Registrars

Similarly to more senior clinicians, junior doctors salaries are structured into bands with increases based on experience. The pay scales for these positions are divided into different levels based on their years of service and training milestones.

Medical Pay Scale Table
Scale Foundation House Officer 1 (£) Foundation House Officer 2 (£) Specialty Registrar (Fixed Term) or (Core Training) (£) Specialty Registrar (Full) (£)
Min 31,082 38,553 40,995 40,995
1 33,024 41,075 43,504 43,504
2 34,964 43,597 47,007 47,007
3 49,126 49,126
4 51,680 51,680
5 54,235 54,235
6 56,793
7 59,384
8 61,903
9 64,461

In Scotland, junior doctors’ salaries are based on their basic pay as well as additional allowances for working unsocial hours or overtime.

Additional Benefits

NHS doctors in Scotland receive a well-rounded benefits package. This includes generous annual leave starting at 27 days for new full-time employees, plus 8 public holidays. Medical and dental professionals get 5.6 to 6.6 weeks of annual leave, along with public holidays. The NHS Scotland Pension Scheme has substantial employer contributions and various flexible retirement options. Employees also have access to support programs for their well-being, including flexible working arrangements, remote working where possible, and employee assistance programs. NHS staff can also benefit from discounts through schemes like the Blue Light Card and NHS Staff Benefits, offering savings on national and local services and products.

Remedium has supported over 100 NHS Trusts in recruiting skilled clinicians on permanent contracts. We are dedicated to solving the healthcare staffing crisis and supporting the future of the NHS. Our Red Carpet platform and onboarding team provide comprehensive support for international doctors, making the transition to the UK simple. If you’re interested in joining the NHS, register your details with us.

Get in touch with Remedium today

Contact us to find out how we can support you to achieve your goals