The Government has told pay review bodies that they will not be asked to make a recommendation on pay awards for NHS employed staff for 2015/16 as it is to repeat last year’s 1% cap on pay rises.
In a letter addressed to the Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB), chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said this would cover employed doctors and dentists, while the Department of Health was to write to the DDRB regarding independent contractors at a later date.
Explaining the position, Mr Alexander said that ‘pay restraint remains a crucial part of the consolidation plans that are continuing to help put the UK back on the path of fiscal sustainability’ and that ‘continued restraint in relation to public sector pay will help to protect jobs in the public sector and support the quality of public services’.
He also said that although there was ‘some variation between remit’ groups, the current evidence showed that ‘significant recruitment and retention issues’ were ‘unlikely’ in the next year.
He added: ‘As you are aware, for 2014/15 the Government adopted an approach by which all staff in the NHS received at least an additional 1% of their basis pay. All staff not eligible to receive incremental ay have been given a 1% non-consolidated payment in 2014/15. Other staff will have received an increase worth at least 1% through incremental progression.’
‘Unfortunately, the NHS trade unions are not prepared to negotiate an affordable alternative, although we are still open to new proposals. Therefore it is our intention to take the same approach in 2015/16. As a result, the DDRB will not be asked to make recommendations on a pay award for employed doctors and dentists in the 2015 pay round.’
GPC deputy chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘This confirms what the Government has already indicated, that it is their intent to maintain the current policy for employed doctors. However this leaves the possibility open for the DDRB to make a judgement for GP contractors, particularly on expenses.’