Call for DDRB awards to be paid from April

The GPC has called for GP pay rises recommended by the Review Body to be implemented from 1 April, following fears that the DoH might try to delay the rises.

The Review Body, which recommends pay levels for GP registrars, GP trainers, and salaried and community hospital GPs, sent its recommendations for 2006/7 to ministers on 17 February.

GPC chairman Dr Hamish Meldrum said: 'The report is usually published in February. We would prefer it to come out as soon as possible so people know what to expect.'

He added that, because most pay rises were due from 1 April, some might have to be backdated.

National media have implied that ministers have delayed the Review Body's recommendations because it has recommended above-inflation pay rises.

This has raised concerns that the DoH might try to stagger the pay awards.

Alastair Hatchett, head of pay at financial analysts Incomes Data Services (IDS), said: 'The government would be loath not to accept the report's recommendations, but might introduce the pay rise in stages.'

He suggested if the recommended rise was 2.5 per cent, the DoH might award half in April and the rest from October or January.

Mr Hatchett believed the last government to take this approach was a Conservative one.

The DoH refused to comment.

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