The RCM has dismissed Andrew Lansley's proposal that NHS staff receive less pay if they work in less affluent parts of the country.

Jon Skewes, director of employment relations and development at the Royal College of Midwives, said: "The Royal College of Midwives (RCM) is committed to nationally determined pay. We believe that the current system of nationally determined pay, along with Agenda for Change, is the most transparent, fair and equitable system for the NHS. Underpinning and supporting the whole system is a robust job evaluation scheme that is fundamentally based on equal pay for equal work.

"The UK wide system is the most efficient and cost effective way to determine pay and there are current flexibilities within Agenda for Change that allow for local and regional adjustments. Moving to market facing local pay would likely lead to a reduction in pay in some areas of the country, further entrenching low pay in those areas. Moreover, if there was a move to local market facing pay this could undermine and fragment the whole structure which could result in unequal pay issues.

Posted by Penny Hosie