Call to freeze NHS doctors' pay
Filed under: News
NHS Employers said that if doctors' wages were to increase, patients' quality of care could suffer and there could be job losses across the health service.
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The body confirmed it has recommended the public sector pay freeze for doctors working in the health service should be extended for a further year.
It told the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) the move is "essential to protect services and minimise job losses".
Last week, financial experts warned that monetary pressures on the health service, which has been ordered to make £20 billion in efficiency savings by 2015, will start to bite next year as the two-year public sector pay freeze comes to an end in April.
The King's Fund report said an average staff pay increase of 1% would add around £400 million to £500 million to NHS expenditure. The NHS Employers submission to the review body said the remuneration package for doctors remains "highly competitive" when pension and non-pay benefits are taken into account.
Dean Royles, director of NHS Employers, said: "Everyone, including doctors, knows these are challenging times for us all. The simple truth is that NHS organisations cannot afford an unnecessary increase in doctors' pay rates over the next year without it impacting on patient care.
"We understand the frustration felt by many doctors about freezing pay scales, but we know they recognise the financial challenges facing all organisations. Most doctors in the NHS already benefit from annual incremental pay increases and pay progression through training. Any additional increase is unaffordable for the NHS.
"Sixty five pence of every NHS pound is spent on staff and they do a tremendous job. We must however make sure that we get the best possible value for the money we have available to us. We need to achieve a balance among the interests of patients, taxpayers and staff."
© 2012 Press Association