Andy Burnham MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, responding to the Government backtracking on regional pay, said:
"The Chancellor’s announcement in the Autumn Statement yesterday shows the disarray in Government on regional pay for the NHS. This comes on top of earlier reports that Health Minister Daniel Poulter is asking hospital trusts in the South West NHS pay consortium to maintain national pay and conditions.
"Only four weeks ago, the Health Secretary said it was the 'right of each employer to choose their own terms and conditions' and he refused to rule out regional pay in the NHS.
"Now, following pressure from Labour, they have been forced to cave in and agree that national pay arrangements in the NHS should continue. This has all the hallmarks of yet another Government shambles.
"The Government should never have allowed the South West Regional Pay cartel to progress this far and cause so much distress and uncertainty for NHS staff.
"This embarrassing U-turn is yet another example of the chaos David Cameron has inflicted on the NHS. Right now, the NHS desperately needs leadership. Instead, it is being steered into the rocks by an incompetent Government."