Consultant Junior doctor SAS doctor England

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Regional pay consortium disbands

A pay consortium, which originally had a membership of 20 trusts, has been officially disbanded after publishing a final report of recommendations last month.

The BMA and other health unions, including the Royal College of Nursing, had refused to negotiate with the South West Pay, Terms and Conditions Consortium, which they branded a ‘pay cartel’.

BMA council chair Mark Porter said: ‘Doctors will be glad that this threat to their terms and conditions has receded.

‘So-called regional pay was only ever about reducing pay, making NHS staff pay for the imposed cost-cutting on the NHS.’

All the trusts involved in the consortium have held their board meetings in the past month and several have announced they are committed to national terms and conditions.

National commitment

Royal United Hospital Bath NHS Trust human resources director Lynn Vaughan said: ‘We do not intend to join any reformed consortium in the future, and have confirmed our commitment to nationally negotiated terms and conditions for staff.’

However, doctors leaders have warned that the decision to disband the south-west consortium did not end the threat of regional pay deals being implemented by other trusts elsewhere in England.

BMA industrial relations officer Sean Cusack said: ‘Based upon discussions locally it looks as if the consortium as a living, active entity may well be over but it could be resurrected at any time.

‘Trusts seem to be opting for supporting the national negotiations to deliver the changes they want with the option of resurrecting the consortium as a fallback.

‘While this is good news the unions will remain on their guard to ensure that national terms and conditions are not undermined at local level.’

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