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Further NHS wage cuts are “unrealistic” BMA warns government

9 September 2015

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Further use of wage restraint is “unrealistic” the British Medical Association (BMA) warned the government in its submission before the spending review.

Government must abandon imposing further pay freezes on NHS staff in order to make efficiency savings, which the Association branded “unrealistic”, and has led to staff bearing “a disproportionate burden”.

The BMA said staff pay freezes during the 2011/12 and 2012/13 financial years have resulted in a £1.7bn saving from the NHS budget. However, this is far lower than that of £4.8bn made through tariff efficiencies during the same two years.

In a release, the organisation said: “Staff have borne a disproportionate burden of the efficiency savings so far, so suggesting further efficiency is just unrealistic … Achieving efficiency savings beyond simply requiring staff to bear an unsustainable burden will require significant upfront investment.”

The report, given to the government ahead of the chancellor’s autumn spending review announcement scheduled for November, also called for a guarantee on long-term sustainable investment in GP services, and to ensure the public health budget remains ring-fenced.

The Government should commit to regular reviews of NHS spending based upon the needs of the population, and increase ill-health prevention funding in the short term, by 10% annually, the BMA urged.