NHS underspend 'shows GPs' pay freeze unjustified'

Reports that the NHS underspent by £500 million in 2006/7 show that the GP pay freeze was unjustified, LMCs have said.

NHS underspend 'shows GPs' pay freeze unjustified'
NHS underspend 'shows GPs' pay freeze unjustified'

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt hinted she would quit if the NHS failed to achieve financial balance in 2006/7. She imposed a pay freeze on GPs and below-inflation pay rises for other health professionals.

Londonwide LMCs medical secretary for north west London Dr Fay Wilson said: 'We've had our wages frozen but we're having to pay for staff pay rises. We will have to stop investing in our practices and cut back the services we provide.' Cuts denied services to vulnerable groups, she added.

Cleveland LMC secretary John Canning said PCTs withheld practice pay to boost savings.

A DoH spokeswoman said a surplus was predicted, but final 2006/7 spending figures would be published 'shortly'.

henry.ellis@haymarket.com

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