HL Deb 18 December 2001 vol 630 cc39-41WA
Lord Galdwin of Clee

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they will publish the reports and recommendations of the Health Pay Review Bodies. [HL2068]

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath

We are responding on behalf of my right honourable friend the Prime Minister to the reports of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) and the Review Body on Nursing staff, Midwives, Health Visitors and Professions Allied to Medicine (NPRB), which were published on 17 December. We understand that a similar announcement was made by the Minister for Health and Community Care in Scotland, and the Minister for Health and Social Services in Wales. Copies of the reports are available in the Printed Paper Office and the Library. We are grateful to the chairman and members of both review bodies for their hard work.

The pay recommendations of the two review bodies are being accepted in full and without staging.

Nurses, midwives and health visitors are to get an across the board increase of 3.6 per cent. Some 45,000 of the lowest paid nursing support staff on grade A will benefit from a minimum cash uplift of £400 giving them pay rises of up to 4.3 per cent. Non-registered staff on grades A and B will also have access to an additional incremental point if they achieve national vocational qualifications.

On call and standby payments increase by 50 per cent while psychiatric and regional secure unit allowances are inceased by 32 per cent. Other cash based allowances are increased by 3.6 per cent.

London allowances will be increased by 3.6 per cent and the earnings related element will be consolidated into a new rate of £3,228 for all nursing staff working in inner London irrespective of their earnings.

This year additional action has been targeted to support clinical leadership in the National Health Service. Staff undertaking matron roles will have access to an increased maximum salary up to £32,760. The lowest three incremental points on the nurse consultant scales will be deleted giving a new minimum rate of £33,940. Nurse consultants will potentially be able to earn up to £46,675.

On top of these increases the extension of the geographic coverage of cost of living supplements from 1st April 2002 to a further six health authorities will result in an estimated 20,000 more qualified NPRB staff benefiting from additional increases worth between £400 and £600.

The minimum starting pay of a newly qualified nurse will rise to £16,005. In inner London starting pay for a new nurse will be £19,873, including London weighting and the cost of living supplement.

The NPRB has also recommended an across the board increase of 3.6 per cent for physiotherapists, radiographers and other allied health professionals within its remit. The lowest increment of the basic grade will be deleted with the assimilation arrangements for all existing basic grade staff. Starting pay for newly qualified staff will increase by 7.5 per cent on 1st April 2002 to £17,115 or £21,028 in London, inclusive of London weighting and the cost of living supplement. Cash based allowances are increased in line with awards made to nursing staff.

The Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) has recommended an overall pay increase of 3.6 per cent for salaried doctors and dentists and general dental practitioners. In addition the DDRB has recommended adjustments to the pay scales, including increases in the scale maxima, for senior house officers, associate specialists, staff grade practitioners, and dental officers, and an extension in the dentists' commitment scheme worth around an extra £5 million per year.

For general practitioners, it has recommended an increase in the amount to be delivered through the fee scale of 4.6 per cent, together with an increase in the out of hours supplement for GP registrars from 30 per cent of basic salary to 50 per cent.

The pay rise recommended by the DDRB takes the starting consultant salary to £52,640 and that of a consultant on the maximum of the scale with maximum distinction award to £133,585. The number of distinction awards has also been increased by 186 which will support the Government's proposals to reform the existing schemes to give more opportunity to reward consultants for their commitment and contribution to the NHS.

These above inflation increases are fair and reflect the important contribution that these key staff are making to delivering the modernisation agenda outlined in the NHS Plan.