Guidance on payment levels for local health group members in Wales has been dubbed 'divisive' and given a mixed reception by managers' and doctors' leaders.

Under the Welsh Office guidelines, elected GP members will receive higher payments than other board members selected from local authorities and health authorities. Levels for co-opted members will be left to 'local discretion.'

NHS Confederation in Wales chair Fiona Peel said such differentials 'could be a bit divisive'.

'I think we do get into some problems when payments are dependent on whether the member has been elected, selected, or co-opted,' she said.

Ms Peel also criticised the salary guidelines for LHG-responsible officers as 'not high enough' to reflect their 'increasing role' in future years. The guidance says officers will have to put in place mechanisms to control budgets and account to the health authority for the use of delegated funds.

Ms Peel warned that the pay levels put forward might not attract managers already 'destabilised' by trust reconfiguration.

British Medical Association Welsh secretary Bob Broughton expressed 'disappointment' over the remuneration levels. But he said the medical profession had 'generally accepted' the terms.

The salary range for responsible officers is:

Covering a population of 100,000:£34,000 -£50,000.

Maximum pay levels, including compensatory payments:

Chair£19,225;

GP Executive member£7,500;

Board member£5,700;

Clinical governance lead£7,500.

Local Health Groups: Remuneration and Human Resource Guidance. Welsh Office. 01222-823378.