§ The Secretary of State for Health (Dr. John Reid)
I am responding on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister to the Thirty-third Report of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB) which is published today. Copies of the report are available in the Vote Office and the Library. I am grateful to the chairman and members of the Review Body for their hard work.
This year's report deals primarily with general dental practitioners, doctors and dentists in training, non-consultant career grade doctors, medical and dental consultants who have chosen not to take up new contracts, and ophthalmic medical practitioners. For consultants taking up new contracts, general medical practitioners and the salaried primary dental care services, 2004–05 will be the second year of three-year pay deals agreed as part of NHS pay reforms.
The Review Body has recommended with effect from April 2004 general increases in remuneration of 2.7 per cent. for doctors and dentists in training and non-consultant career grade doctors, 2.5 per cent. for consultants who remain on the old contract and an increase of 2.9 per cent. in gross fees for general dental practitioners. The Review Body has also recommended adjustments to some features of the pay scales for associate specialists, staff grade practitioners and specialist registrars and additional funding to support a structured change management programme for dentists and their staff.
The Review Body's pay recommendations are being accepted in full and without staging.