§ Mr. Pattie
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services (1) what action he is taking to ensure that medical receptionists employed by general practitioners are paid their agreed increments which were frozen under stage 2 of pay policy, without jeopardising freely negotiated pay awards under stage 3;
(2) what action he is taking to ensure that there is no disparity in rates of pay between medical receptionists employed 311W by area health authorities and those of similar grades employed by general practitioners.
§ Mr. Deakins
Receptionists and secretaries who work for general practitioners are normally employed by the general practitioners and not by the NHS. The practitioners in turn are independent contractors to the NHS. The terms and conditions of service and the remuneration paid to the ancillary staff are therefore matters between the general practitioner and the staff concerned and I have no right to interfere.
My Department reimburses directly a proportion of the salaries paid by general practitioners to their staff and advises general practitioners on the application of pay policy. General practitioners have been advised that the cost of paying increments should be contained within a settlement consistent with pay policy. In accordance with Government pay policy reimbursement is not extended to increases which do not comply with the policy.