A report suggesting potential solutions to the medical secretaries' pay dispute in some parts of the UK has met with a lukewarm response from staff.

The study, by Pay and Workforce Research, forecasts severe shortages of medical secretaries if more is not done to attract new recruits to the profession - particularly with the government's commitment to increasing consultant numbers by 7,500 which will require similar numbers of secretaries.

The report outlines the form of possible settlements. One is that secretaries will be put on grade 3, with those with supervisory responsibilities entitled to grade 4.

The second would involve reflecting proficiencies in the base salary.

Secretary of the British Society of Medical Secretaries Ann Rhodes said: 'It is just tinkering at the edges. 'The work done by our members varies enormously as far as responsibilities are concerned. That is not reflected in any of this. And recruitment is a real issue. In areas like the South there are too many other careers - like legal secretary work - which pay far better and offer real career prospects.'

Medical Secretaries - pay and HR update.Pay and Workforce Research.pur@payandwork. co. uk