GMS pay freeze to go ahead in N Ireland

Pay awards for GPs and doctors in Northern Ireland will match those set out in the Review Body report for England and Wales.

‘Healthcare professionals in Northern Ireland will receive the same pay increases as their colleagues in (the rest of) the NHS,’ Northern Ireland health minister Paul Goggins said last week.

The announcement confirms that the GMS pay freeze that followed the breakdown in negotiations between the GPC and NHS Employers will also apply in Northern Ireland.

GPC Northern Ireland chairman Dr Brian Dunn said he was not surprised: ‘The Review Body does not apply to Northern Ireland, but its recommendations are usually adopted in full.’

Any pay awards in excess of 1.5 per cent will be staged with 1.5 per cent paid from April and the rest from November. The award includes a flat rate rise of £650 for doctors in training and a 3.1 per cent rise for doctors in their first post.

The Scottish Executive broke with all other UK countries for 2007/8, giving all increases in one installment from April.

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