Doctors voice concerns over NHS 'pay cartel'
A "PAY cartel" Bristol's hospital managers have signed up to could undermine the ethos of the NHS, according to the organisation that represents doctors.
The British Medical Association (BMA) believes that the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium, which is made up of 20 NHS trusts including hospitals in the city centre and north of Bristol and Weston-super-Mare, is "short-sighted" and would take away the sense of working for a "single, integrated" health service.
Currently NHS contracts are negotiated nationally, but the aim of the consortium would be to make such decisions for the region.
Among the proposals that have emerged are pay cuts for staff earning more than £55,000, increasing working hours and reducing annual leave and terminating the contracts of any employees who will not sign up to the new contracts. The consortium has said that any recommendations have not yet been made.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The BMA believes the consortium would be inefficient because national bargaining in the NHS "ensures an efficient and cost-effective approach to negotiations on pay and terms and conditions".
It feels it would create issues for recruitment and the retention of NHS staff locally because doctors might leave for other parts of the country where there were better pay offers.
The BMA feels this could impact on clinical quality with doctors moving or staying in areas where contracts are negotiated nationally.
Dr Mark Porter, the BMA's chairman of council, said: "We do not want to see a skills drain away from certain areas of the country, particularly in more remote regions."
The consortium has previously said that it does not accept that an introduction of revised pay, terms or conditions will lead to a wholesale exodus of staff from the South West, or a decline in the high quality care our patients receive. It has said that the financial and operational challenges ahead cannot be met fully by further efficiency savings or service reconfigurations alone.