Unions have expressed anger following health secretary Andy Burnham’s decision to ignore a pay review body recommendation on pharmacists’ pay.
Mr Burham said that pharmacists will not receive a recruitment and retention pay premium recommended by the independent pay review body.
NHS pharmacist vacancy rates are running at 13% and unions estimate they can earn up to £10,000 more a year in the private sector than in the health service.
Unite national officer for health, Karen Reay, said: ‘We are seeking an urgent meeting with Andy Burnham to ask him to review the decision.’
Mike Jackson, UNISON senior national officer for health, said: ‘The premium recommended by the pay review body, of between £5,000 and £500 a year is a sensible way to plug the gap.
‘It takes 5 years to train a pharmacist and many are leaving the NHS. We should not put the health service in a position where it has to take trained staff from overseas.’