- 9 updates
The general secretary and chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing has told ITV News that Chancellor George Osborne said it was "affordable" to give NHS staff a 1% pay rise in this year's spending review.
Dr Peter Carter added that the Government was "emotionally blackmailing hardworking staff".
The Government is facing threats of industrial action after signalling it wants to call a halt to NHS pay rises.
The proposal, backed by the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, says the health service in England cannot afford the increase and warns that patients could be at risk if it goes ahead.
Claire Stewart reports:
Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has told ITV News he backed public service pay restraint but blamed the Government's NHS reorganisation for draining funds that could have been used to pay for the rise.
The co-chair of the BMA Doctors' Committee has questioned why the Department of Health has not "negotiated" with medical professionals over calls to halt a 1% pay rise.
Dr Kitty Mohan told ITV News that claims that a pay rise could put patients' safety "at risk" was "insulting".
Doctors fully recognise the economic constraints the NHS is facing, the chairman of the BMA Council told the Guardian, after the Department of Health announced that it wants to call a halt to the planned 1% pay rise.
Mark Porter added: "[For] the Government to imply that unless NHS staff endure what is effectively another year of pay cuts they will put patient safety at risk is insulting at best, given doctors are working harder than ever before and have borne the brunt of the Government's efficiency drive."
A Department of Health spokeswoman said no decisions had been made on whether funding allocated for a 1% pay rise would be used to modernise NHS pay structures, but stressed the plans would help "protect jobs and improve care".
Under the current pay structures, staff automatically receive incremental rises by going up different pay grades. The spokesperson said:
The head of health at the union Unite has hit out at Department of Health plans to halt the proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff this year. Speaking to the Guardian, she accused Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt of "trying to emotionally blackmail staff to sacrifice their pay." She said:
The Department of Health has said it wants NHS staff to forgo their below inflation pay rise and use the money to modernise NHS pay structures.
In its submission to the NHS pay review body, the Department of Health said the NHS is facing the biggest financial challenge in its history, and was facing a "stark choice" as pay rises could have an impact on safe staffing levels.
The Department of Health has said it wants to halt NHS pay rises, prompting anger from the unions. The department wants to spent the money set aside for a 1% pay rise for staff on a modernisation of pay structures.