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Nhs (Pay)

Volume 32: debated on Thursday 18 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) in what way the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine will deal with the specific problem of low pay within these groups;

(2) what recommendations Her Majesty's Government will make to the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine concerning the procedures it should adopt to ensure that the value to the community of the work of nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine is properly measured, in circumstances where value to the community is not reflected in the market value of comparators pay;

(3) whether Her Majesty's Government, in the light of the Megaw report, will propose to the pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine that it should separate its procedures for determining annual pay increases from its procedures for determining whether absolute levels of pay are set at the correct level;

(4) if Her Majesty's Government anticipates that the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine will employ management consultants to collect and analyse data on comparable jobs; and if the staff sides of the relevant Whitley councils will have the right to challenge the assumptions used in such data collection, and the data itself, before the pay review body reaches conclusions on a question;

(5) in the light of the Megaw committee's conclusion that it could not find an acceptable method of placing value on job security and that there were practical problems in evaluating the importance given to wastage and ease of recruitment, whether Her Majesty's Government will eliminate these factors from being considered by the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine.

If the Whitley council negotiations on pay for the relevant groups reach a satisfactory conclusion, the Government propose to consult the professional bodies and Trades Unions involved on the exact scope and terms of reference of the proposed review body on the pay of nurses, midwives and professions allied to medicine. I would expect the proposed review body itself to determine its detailed method of working and the form of its recommendations.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what was the total pay bill, including merit payments, for medically qualified staff covered in negotiations by the doctors and dentists review board, for each financial year since 1974–75, including his estimate for the financial year 1982–83.

The information requested is as follows:

£ millions
1974–75329
1975–76454
1976–77494
1977–78521
1978–79590
1979–80756
1980–811,018
1981–821,115
1982–831,188

Note:

The remuneration of general practitioners covers both pay and expenses. These totals include estimates of the pay element net of expenses.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list, for each financial year since the doctors and dentists review board was established (a) the average pay increase and implementation date recommended by the doctors and dentists review board and (b) the average pay increase and implementation date awarded by Her Majesty 's Government.

Since the current doctors and dentists review body system was established in 1971 the average pay increases recommended have been:

Per cent.
1971*8·0
19728·0
19734·5
19747·4
19753·5
19762·2
19772·5
197810·0
197925·7
198031·4
19819·0
1982†9·0
* For most staff
†Expressed as a 6 per cent. increase over the 1981 recommendations
All recommendations relate to 1 April of the year in question. All have been implemented in full from that date except:

  • (a) in 1975 only half the recommended increases were implemented for those earning over £13,000;
  • (b) in 1981 a 6 per cent. award was implemented from 1 April;
  • (c) in 1982 the abatement from the previous year was carried forward, and an increase of just over 6 per cent. was implemented from 1 April.
  • asked the Secretary of State for Social Service (1) if Her Majesty's Government are prepared to accept recommendations from the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professional supplementary to medicine to set the correct level of pay in absolute terms in comparison with other jobs in the economy, if such recommendations meant substantial increases in salaries of these groups on a once and for all basis;(2) if Her Majesty's Government will undertake to accept recommendations from the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine if such recommendations are based on the principle that comparability should only be with "good employers" outside the National Health Service, in line with the recommendations of the Priestley report;(3) under what circumstances Her Majesty's Government will refuse to implement recommendations from the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine.

    The Government's precise attitude towards possible detailed recommendations cannot be determined in advance. We have not proposed the review body with any intention of disregarding its recommendations. As with other review bodies, we must reserve the right not to accept recommendations if there are clear and compelling national reasons for doing so.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if it is Her Majesty's Government's intention that the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine should hear evidence from the staff and management sides of the relevant Whitley councils and from other interested parties such as Her Majesty's Government, before determining a question; and if he is satisfied that the pay review body will then be able to reach independent conclusions.

    I would expect the proposed review body, like existing review bodies, to receive evidence from interested parties. It will be independent and will, of course, be free to reach whatever conclusions it considers right.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if it is Her Majesty's Government's intention that the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine should be an independent body with members appointed by the Government, or that it should include amongst its membership representatives of the staff and management sides of the relevant Whitley councils;(2) whether the nurses and midwives Whitley council will retain any role in negotiations on behalf of nurses and midwives after the establishment of the proposed pay review body.

    These are amongst the issues which will not be decided until after completion of the consultative process which we expect to be launching shortly.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) if Her Majesty's Government will fund pay increases that may be required to establish the correct absolute pay levels of nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine in relation to other workers in the economy, without recourse to funds held at regional level as part of the cash-limited allocation for a particular financial year;(2) what instructions he will give to the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine in respect of the timing of the submission of their reports to him; and if he will ensure that annual reports are submitted to him before final decisions are made concerning the approved level of pay increase for cash limit purposes in the next financial year.

    We intend that the proposed review body should submit its first report in time for the pay settlement due on 1 April 1984. Decisions about the provision of resources for implementing recommendations made by the review body can only be made at the time.

    asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if Her Majesty's Government will submit evidence to the proposed pay review body for nurses, midwives and professions supplementary to medicine on the Government's ability to pay on the grounds of affordability.

    As with the doctors' and dentists' review body, the Government would expect to submit evidence to the proposed review body on the pay of nurses, midwives and professions allied to medicine on a range of matters, including national economic and financial considerations and the availability of resources to the National Health Service.