The Labour Party has given MPs a model letter to help them deal with nurses furious at last week's below-inflation pay award.

The Labour Party has given MPs a model letter to help them deal with nurses furious at last week's below-inflation pay award.

The letter, leaked by pressure group Health Emergency, provides a 'suggested response'.

Under the plans, the pay of nurses and other healthcare professionals will rise by 1.5 per cent from April and a further 1 per cent from November. Dentists will get a 2 per cent pay rise and hospital doctors will receive a flat rate of£1,000.

GPs are to get nothing, as their wages are thought to have risen by more than 50 per cent since the new general medical services contract was introduced in 2004.

Health secretary Patricia Hewitt hopes to increase the pay of very senior managers, who are outside the review body process, in line with that of consultants - up to 1.4 per cent.

The letter says: 'As a result of this pay award, the government's other NHS pay reforms and the opportunities for career progression, average earnings for nurses are expected to rise by 4.9 per cent next year - above the national average.'

But Geoff Martin, Health Emergency's head of campaigns, said the letter for 'lazy MPs' would make nurses 'furious'. 'If MPs can't be bothered to write their own responses to angry nurses in their constituencies, they deserve to be booted out.

A Labour Party spokesman said it was important for MPs to be informed of the issues. 'Other political parties provide similar services,' he said, adding that MPs were 'free to use this information in any way they see fit'.

Unison members are being consulted this week over whether to take industrial action. The British Medical Association is considering its options: a spokeswoman would not confirm whether the BMA would launch a judicial review, as feared by the Department of Health

* Staff are being asked for their comments on the new draft proposals for unsocial hours pay.

An informal consultation is being carried out to assess the impact of the changes among staff groups still using the pre-Agenda for Change system. The proposals, if adopted, will affect all staff on AfC from October. Staff will be paid a proportion of their salary extra per hour for each unsocial hour worked.

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