§ The Secretary of State for Health (Mr. Alan Milburn)
I am responding on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the 32nd report of the review body on doctors' and dentists' remuneration (DDRB) which is published today. Copies of the report are available in the Library. The report covers career grade hospital doctors and dentists (including doctors in public health and the community health service), doctors and dentists in training (excluding general practice registrars) and ophthalmic medical practitioners. The DDRB will report later on general dental practitioners and those in the salaried primary dental care services and are awaiting further developments on the proposed new contract for general medical practitioners. I am grateful to the chairman and members of the review body for their hard work and for the action they have taken to deal with each of their remit groups with the least possible delay.
The review body has recommended general increases in remuneration of 3.225 per cent. for career grade hospital doctors and dentists and doctors and dentists in training with effect from April 2003. In addition, the DDRB has recommended adjustments to the pay scales, for associate specialists and staff grade practitioners.
The review body's pay recommendations are being accepted in full by the Government and without staging.