Directly employed NHS medical staff will receive a pay increase of 1.5%, after the government accepted recommendations made by the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body (DDRB) in full.
The award takes effect from 1 April, as does a 2.29% gross increase in GMS contract payments, intended to produce an average increase of 1.5% in GP's net income.
NHS Employers said that the award for directly employed staff is "slightly lower" than outlined in their evidence to the DDRB in October 2008.
"However," it said, "we believe that it strikes the right balance in being fair to the profession whilst recognising the challenging efficiency requirements that employers are being asked to deliver, against the backdrop of the current economic climate."
In response, Dr Hamish Meldrum, British Medical Association chairman, said: "Rather than penalising the staff who are essential to the care of patients, the government should be looking at other ways of cutting back on its spending.
"Doctors will be disappointed at this award. They will feel that the DDRB appears to have capitulated to government pressure. Whilst we appreciate that tough decisions have to be taken during this period of economic difficulty, holding back on doctors' pay is not the answer.
"NHS funding has been frittered away on countless reorganisations, needless advice from management consultancy firms, and, in England, market-driven reforms that pit hospitals and GPs against each other and allow commercial providers to make profits from the NHS."
He added: "Health services will be under intense pressure as the recession takes its toll on people's health. NHS frontline staff will be required to work at an even greater pace and intensity and it is vital that their hard work and dedication is recognised. This award does nothing to support that view."
Your comments (terms and conditions apply):
"We're not getting a pay rise as we are a PMS practice still awaiting the results of a PMS review after 15 months. Our partners say the staff have to take the hit as practice is likely to lose money. It's a case of rob the poor and give to the GPs" – "Robin Hood", address withheld
"I may be wrong but I thought the DDRB only dealt with awards for doctors and dentists. It is NHS Employers who deal with nurses and ancillary staff and awarded the three-year pay deal giving 2.4% this year. In addition, having looked at the A4C band scales for this year, I think there may be an error in the calculation, certainly on Band 5. I can't get it to the figure they've published whichever way you add the percentages for the three years. I would be grateful to know if anyone else has found this?" – Jeannie Bee, Lincolnshire
"I am pushing for the 2.4% as agreed for this year. We thought there was a three-year outline. Staff have to face cost of living increases and it seems wrong if they cannot get an extra 15p per hour. We will endeavour to hit every target going. We value our staff and we must show this" – Sue Doherty, Luton
"How does this cover an increase of £10 a month council tax, gas and electricity? My bills are double this quarter compared to last year (£800) and I need to feed my children. This when the surgery gets almost full QOF points and we get no bonus" – Janet Jannaway, Essex
"I was under the impression that we entered a three-year agreement last year, which would give us 2.4% this year under Agenda for Change" – Allan M Stewart, Wirral
"Lucky them. We're not getting a pay rise. The partners say that PMS practices will lose money so the staff will need to take the hit!" – Name and address withheld
"I agree with Dr Meldrum – there is so much waste it beggars belief. I came from the commercial sector just over 18 months ago and I am staggered by the rubbish that goes on. It would never be tolerated in the commercial sector. We are in the business of delivering healthcare so we need to adopt a more businesslike approach, and change for change's sake or to keep the tabloids happy is madness. Having said that, a degree of job security should be offset against the poor rate of increaase" – Name and address withheld
"This is disgraceful. The MPs get more than 2%. Obviously they can vote for themselves whereas we in the NHS cannot" – Yasin Husain, Birmingham