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Welsh Govt: No proposals to cut consultants' pay

The Welsh Government has responded to a warning from the British Medical Association that the NHS here faces a "stark future", insisting that there are no proposals to cut consultants' pay in Wales.

We have received the pay review body’s recommendation and are working with representatives from professional bodies and trades unions about how an equivalent sum to that being made available in England can be distributed to NHS staff in Wales.

There are no proposals to cut consultants’ pay. We share BMA Wales’ aim of continuing to improve healthcare, but regret it has been unable to come to the table to negotiate with NHS Employers in Wales about the reform of terms and conditions in the Welsh consultants’ contract.

In the absence of Welsh discussions, which we would very much have preferred, we are now considering how we can ensure that comparable opportunities are available to consultants in Wales as to their colleagues in England.

When it comes to spending on health the BMA has got its figures wrong. Wales actually spends £42 more per head of population on health than England.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

BMA warns of 'stark future' for healthcare in Wales

Doctors group the British Medical Association has issued a severe warning, saying the NHS in Wales is "facing a very stark future that threatens to scar our nation."

BMA Welsh council chairman Dr Philip Banfield was speaking at the trade union's annual conference in Harrogate.

He said that the Welsh Government plans to cut the salaries of consultants which could mean that they will earn 5 per cent less than their counterparts in the UK, and warned the move "will worsen the continuing recruitment crisis in Wales."

The BMA has warned that salary cuts would deter consultants and other healthcare staff from coming to work in Wales.

The BMA received over 450 unsolicited emails and letters working in Wales, expressing their dismay at the proposal.

Dr Banfield said: "Financial targets still take precedence over clinical priorities, our doctors, nurses and other front-line clinical staff have morale at an all-time low, stress at an all-time high – and this, as we have seen, is when mistakes happen and patients die unnecessarily."

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Health board: safe levels of care are priority

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board says its proposals for staff reorganisation are focused on "the critical importance maintaining safe levels of care and improving patient experience."

It says "only a small number of people may find themselves in a redundancy position."

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board agrees fully with the BMA that quality care and patient safety are of the utmost importance.All the UHB’s proposals have been equality and quality impact assessed by Clinical Boards to ensure that they are not detrimental to the level and quality of patient care we provide.

UHB services are being redesigned and modernised to ensure that we can deliver care more effectively and use our resources more efficiently.

All our service change proposals have been developed with clinicians, and the starting point has been the critical importance of maintaining safe levels of care and improving patient experience.These proposals have been discussed with local trade union leaders prior to launching and we are now entering a period of formal consultation. We have a statutory obligation to consult in this way because of the potential numbers involved.

We believe that ultimately, once we have been through the process of collective consultation, which will run in tandem with the NHS Wales Organisational Change Policy, and have looked at how and where we can redeploy colleagues who find themselves at risk, only a small number of people out of our total workforce of 14,500 may find themselves in a redundancy position.

– Cardiff and Vale University Health Board spokesperson

Welsh Govt 'disappointed' at BMA pull-out

The Welsh Government says it is "disappointed" that the British Medical Association Cymru Wales has withdrawn from talks about future staffing levels in the health service here.

It says Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has given assurances that its staffing plans will not risk levels of care, and that no decisions have been made yet.

We are disappointed that the BMA have taken this step as we feel it is important that they take the opportunity to be part of the discussions on workforce and employment issues in Wales.

Staffing levels are a matter for LHBs but they have to be consistent with levels of safe care and we have received assurances on this from Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

It is important to remember this is part of Cardiff and Vale UHB's consultation on reconfiguration plans and final decisions have not been taken.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

BMA pulls out of pay talks with Welsh Govt and NHS

The professional body for doctors in Wales has pulled out of high-level discussions with the Welsh Government and NHS employers on the future organisation of the health service here.

The British Medical Association Cymru Wales says Cardiff and Vale University Health Board's announcement that hundreds of jobs may be axed is a "reckless dash towards a redundancy program" which "undermines the work of the task force and has destroyed our trust in the integrity of that process."

It is inappropriate for BMA Cymru Wales to participate further and therefore we have given formal notification that we will withdraw immediately from the Strategic Pay Task Force.

I recognise Welsh Government’s good intentions in fostering debate between NHS employers and the health service trades unions, but Cardiff and Vale Health Board’s actions are a betrayal of the trust necessary for those discussions to bear fruit. It means that employers will now have to revert to the existing consultation and negotiating arrangements with BMA Cymru Wales, at local and national levels respectively.

– Dr Richard Lewis, BMA Cymru Wales

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