Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Health
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Medical notes 
Background Briefings 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Niall Dickson reports for BBC News
"More needs to be done to attract and retain clinical nurses"
 real 28k

Karen Allen reports for BBC News
"Hospitals like St Peter's have relied heavily on help from overseas"
 real 28k

Monday, 17 January, 2000, 17:46 GMT
Nurses welcome pay boost

Experienced nurses will receive larger pay rises

Experienced nurses are the biggest winners after the government announced above-inflation pay rises for the NHS.

Two grades of nurse are to receive increases of between 7 and 8%, and the government says no NHS employee is now paid less than 4 an hour.

Pay: who gets what (last year's figure in brackets)
Experienced staff nurse - 15,920-19,200 (15,395-17,830)
Enrolled and auxilliary nurse - 12,135-14,890 (11,735-13,915)
Senior house officer 30,150-40,265 (29,185-38,985)
Specialist registrar - 33,700-49,110 (32,620-47,550)
Consultant - 48,905-63,640 (47,345-61,605)
GP - on average 54,220 (52,600)
Note - figures for senior house officer and registrar include additional payments for overtime
The move was praised by nurses' groups and hospital leaders.

But there is criticism that the extra money will have to be found from existing health authority budgets, possibly forcing cuts in other areas.

Health Secretary Alan Milburn said: "This is a fair pay rise for doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives, health visitors, therapists and other health professionals.

"The pay awards will help recruit and retain more staff so that the NHS can treat more patients more quickly. This year's pay rises will form the centrepiece of a renewed campaign to recruit more nurses into the health service."

The favoured nurses are those in grades "C" and "E", who are experienced auxilliary and staff nurses.

Grade "C" nurses will get seven per cent, while Grade "E" nurses will get 7.8%. About 60,000 on the maximum scale will get a total increase of 1,390 a year.

Alan Milburn: 'a fair deal'
Other nurses will get a rise of 3.4% at the start of April, while doctors and dentists are to get 3.3% rises.

The "average" GP now earns just over 54,000.

However, the government announced 20m of new resources to supplement the pay of dentists who have "shown a commitment" to the NHS.

This year's pay rises will form the centrepiece of a renewed campaign to recruit more nurses into the health service
Alan Milburn, Health Secretary
Ministers are trying to increase the number of NHS dentists.

All the rises are well in excess of inflation, which is currently running at 2.2%. They will be paid in full, rather than given out in staged amounts, as they have been in previous years.

The pay deal means that the majority of nurses have now received at least an 8% rise over the last two years.

Last year, nurses in the lower grades were given higher pay rises, and a new grade of consultant nurse created for the most experienced nurses.

Welcomed by many

The rise was welcomed by the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, Christine Hancock.

But she added: "There is still a very low salary paid to people who are extremely skilled, doing a vital job."

However, doctors' leaders were unhappy with the deal.

Dr Ian Bogle, chairman of the British Medical Association, said: "Doctors' pay is now seriously out of line with the pay of other comparable professionals. It needs to be restored to the appropriate level, if necessary according to a structured timetable."

Christine Hancock: 'pay still too low'
Dave Prentis, whose union Unison represents many nurses, particularly those in the auxilliary grades, said more increases were needed.

"Over three in 10 of nurses on those grades have to take second jobs just to cope.

"I actually believe the increases themselves will not help as far as retention is concerned. It has to be seen as a start."

Other public sector workers such as teachers will hear details of their pay increases later this month.

Dr Liam Fox, the Tory health spokesman, criticised the fact that no new money had been found to fund the pay increases.

"The increases will have to be met out of existing budgets, so that means that the increased pay for doctors and nurses will mean fewer procedures being able to be done."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
17 Jan 00 |  Health
NHS pay: The reaction
17 Jan 00 |  Health
The GP pay system
17 Jan 00 |  Health
Nurse pay: what it means
17 Jan 00 |  Health
Hospital doctors: how they are paid
09 Dec 99 |  Health
Hospital doctors strike pay deal
16 Jan 00 |  Health
Blair admits NHS is underfunded
02 Feb 99 |  Health
Government 'misled' public on pay
09 Jul 99 |  Health
Why have a 'super-nurse'?

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Health stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Health stories