NHS Staff Pay Rise
17 December 2001

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All doctors and nurses in NHS Scotland are to get pay increases twice the rate of inflation next year – with even bigger rises for family doctors.

Health Minister Malcolm Chisholm today announced that the Executive had accepted the recommendations from the independent pay review bodies for a 3.6 per cent increase for hospital doctors and nurses in 2002-3. GPs will receive a 4.6 per cent rise.

The increases will mean an extra £560 a year for a newly qualified nurse, an extra £900 for an experienced ward sister, an additional £2,500 for a hospital consultant, and should deliver over £4,000 more in pay and expenses for the average GP principal.

The pay increases will be met from the average increase of 6.9 per cent in allocations to NHS Boards next year.

Mr Chisholm said:
"I am pleased to announce that for the fourth year in a row the government is accepting in full, and without staging, the full recommendations of the independent UK pay review bodies for key NHS staff. As a result, doctors and nurses across Scotland will see their pay increase by twice the rate of inflation next year.

"We value the work that our doctors, nurses, dentists and other health professionals provide each and every day in the NHS. Pay is clearly one important part of recognising that work and the importance we place on retaining and attracting staff to the NHS. I hope that this signal of our intent will give us a platform on which we can step up recruitment and retention initiatives for nurses and doctors in the coming months.

"Since 1997, there have been consistent above-inflation increases for doctors and nurses. Salaries for both doctors and nurses have increased by over 25 per cent in cash terms since 1997. That reflects this government’s determination to support frontline staff to help us rebuild a strong and stable NHS for the long-term.

"I am also pleased that the independent review body has recognised the valuable role that local family doctors play in delivering care. Nine out of 10 contacts that patients have with the NHS come in local settings like GP practices and health centres. There have been real and genuine issues around both the workload and morale among family doctors. Our £30 million Primary Care Modernisation Plan announced earlier this year was a start in addressing these issues. Additional pay is, I believe, another important step in tackling these concerns and supporting GP’s to provide care and advice to their patients.

"Overall this represents a good deal for NHS staff and an affordable one within increasing NHS budgets next year. Our staff are the core of what the NHS is about. Care and professionalism. Investing in better pay for staff is a sound investment in the future of the NHS."

One of the biggest problems n the NHS in recent years has been recruitment and retention.  Targetting on Trainee GP's who will get 19.5%.  But the Royal College of Nursing was doubtful if this current rise would halt the trend for people leaving the NHS.