Regional pay cuts for NHS staff (Except if you’re a top exec on a commissioning body)

Sometimes I think Andrew Lansley exists purely to make me angry. I’m sure one day I’ll wake up to find him vomiting in my shoes. This morning, however, what I woke up to find was that he’s backing regional pay cuts.

Andrew Lansley, the health secretary, is threatening another controversial revolution in the NHS by proposing that its staff be paid less if they work in poorer parts of the country.

The cabinet minister is backing a plan for regional pay, which would mean that nurses, midwives, hospital porters, cleaners and paramedics would earn less if they work in the north or the Midlands rather than in the south of England.

Yep, we’re going to follow the private sector in a race to the bottom, and helping to further entrench the North-South Divide while we’re at it?

But what if it creates skills shortages? Surely there’ll need to be exemptions to make sure clinically-vital posts get filled?

Official documents reveal that the only backed by the Department of Health would be for highly paid managers working in new bodies established to deliver Lansley’s controversial NHS reform programme, widely criticised as a privatisation of the health service.

The department, according to a submission to the NHS pay review body, believes special arrangements would be necessary for this new cohort of executives to “attract and retain high-calibre leaders and staff responsible for transforming delivery”

So, the only posts for which we need to “attract and retain high-calibre leaders and staff” are for the commissioning bodies that nobody wanted in the first place?

I’ve said before and I’ll say it again. What a complete and utter Lansley.