The Health Minister has urged South West NHS Trusts to rethink pay plans that would see local NHS workers paid less than elsewhere in the UK.

Over twenty NHS Trusts in the South West, including the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust, have joined together to form the South West Pay Consortium. The consortium have proposed wide-ranging changes to the pay and conditions for the staff of member trusts which would see local NHS workers paid less than counterparts in the rest of the UK.

Following expressions of concern in Parliament by South West MPs, including Mrs Newton, under-Secretary of State for Health, Dr Dan Poulter MP this week publically called on the South West Pay Consortium to end its ‘heavy handed’ approach to this issue and ‘see the benefit of maintaining national pay frameworks’.

The move has been welcomed by Truro and Falmouth MP Sarah Newton. She said: ‘‘Over recent weeks I have been doing all I can to ensure that Health Ministers are aware of the scale of concern amongst staff at Treliske about the Consortium proposals. I am pleased that ministers have listened and hope Dr Poulter’s comments will help persuade the Trusts currently supporting the Consortium to look again at this issue.

‘‘I will continue to do all I can to persuade the Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust to rethink its support for the consortium’s proposals and to look at ways in which they can balance their books without cutting the wages of modestly paid staff.’’