There will be no national pay rise from this September for health authority general and senior managers on residual arrangements, the Department of Health announced last week.

But a DoH directive, on pay for HA and special HA managers, says that for all other managers on national terms, whose pay is reviewed from 1 September each year, there will be an increase of 3.7 per cent to the pay range maxima and break points.

Local pay awards can be made to all managers, as long as the overall increase in the bill for senior managers does not exceed 3.7 per cent, as outlined by NHS chief executive Nigel Crisp earlier this year.

For most managers, increases for individuals can be determined locally within the new ranges. For those managers on residual arrangements, increases to the existing national rates or other payments can also be made locally.

General managers in the current London, South East and Eastern regions and Dorset and Wiltshire districts of South West region will continue to be eligible for discretionary geographical allowances.

At the time that Mr Crisp wrote to chief executives in April, he said the DoH intended to consult on pay arrangements for senior managers. He said the 'mix of national and local arrangements for managerial pay and contracts' was not thought suitable by the government, and that new arrangements would be developed. But it is now clear that managers will not be able to have their say until much later this year.

A DoH spokesperson said: 'We intend to develop new arrangements for senior managers providing stronger and more consistent links between pay and performance and a more effective framework for delivering NHS leadership. We will be consulting on this in the late autumn.'