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Pay Award Welcomed as Step Towards Tackling the NHS Staffing Crisis

5 July 2005 - 9:10am

Trade unions welcome the 3.4% pay award for health professionals, but warn that it must be backed up by a series of measures.

Trade unions representing 70,000 NHS health professionals have welcomed the pay award of 3.4 per cent, announced today, as an important step towards tackling the severe staff shortages in the professions allied to medicine (PAMs) - amongst the worst in the NHS.

However, they are warning that this year's award must be backed up by a continuing commitment to improving pay and conditions, to cut the high level of vacancies for occupational therapists, physiotherapists, radiographers and other PAM professionals.

According to Government figures, vacancy rates for PAM professionals are among the highest in the NHS - 5.5 per cent compared to an average of 4.5 per cent for all NHS staff. The problems within NHS physiotherapy and occupational therapy are particularly bad with vacancy rates of 7.8 per cent and 6.1 per cent compared to an average of 5.8 per cent for nurses.

Commenting on behalf of the PAM unions, Garry Newman of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, said: "Physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other PAM professionals have a key role in rehabilitation, helping people overcome the effects of illness and injury, and in helping the Government meet its pledge to reduce waiting lists. However, the Government's own figures highlight the severe shortage of these staff within the NHS.

"This year's pay award is a welcome sign that the Government recognises the influence of pay in tackling the NHS staffing crisis. However, it is essential that this is backed up by a long-term commitment to making the NHS a competitive employer so it can and attract and keep the staff it so badly needs."

The professions allied to medicine are arts therapists, chiropodists, dietitians, occupational therapists, orthoptists, physiotherapists, radiographers and support staff.

PAM professionals will receive a pay award of 3.4 per cent across the board. London weighting, stand-by and on-call allowances will rise by 3.4 per cent.

An additional increment has been added to the top of the Senior 11 grade. Anyone who has been at the top of the pay scale for Senior 11 grade for a year or more will be awarded the additional increment representing a total pay rise of 8.4 per cent. 

Ends

Notes to editors

Physiotherapy is the fourth largest health profession in the country and the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP) is the professional, educational and trade union body for the UK's 35,000 chartered physiotherapists, physiotherapy students and assistants.

The professions allied to medicine are arts therapists, chiropodists, dietitians, occupational therapists, orthoptists, physiotherapists, radiographers and support staff.

PAM professionals will receive a pay award of 3.4 per cent across the board. London weighting, stand-by and on-call allowances will rise by 3.4 per cent.

An additional increment has been added to the top of the Senior 11 grade. Anyone who has been at the top of the pay scale for Senior 11 grade for a year or more will be awarded the additional increment representing a total pay rise of 8.4 per cent.

For more information, please contact the CSP press office on 020 7306 6616 / 28

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