DOCTORS and dentists in Wales are to get a new pay deal which is being trumpeted as including a higher salary increase than that agreed in England.

Health secretary Vaughan Gething has confirmed that the Welsh Government has agreed in full the recommendations of the Review Body on Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration (DDRB), which means:

• A two per cent base increase for salaried doctors and dentists, salaried General Medical Practitioners (GMPs), independent contractor GMPs, and General Dental Practitioners (GDPs);

• An additional two per cent for independent contractor GMPs, salaried GMPs, and to the GMP trainers’ grant and the GMP appraisers’ rate;

• An additional 1.5 per cent for specialty and associate specialist (SAS) doctors.

The pay rise, backdated to April 1, "recognises the value and dedication of hardworking doctors and dentists and their key contribution to the NHS in Wales," said Mr Gething.

"This deal goes beyond what was agreed for doctors and dentists over the border and is yet another reason why Wales is a great place to train, work and live.

"Following years of austerity, imposed by the UK Government, we have committed additional funding to fulfil the DDRB recommendations.

"The reality remains, however, that our budgets are limited and so meeting a pay deal resulting from the lifting of the UK Government’s pay cap without appropriate funding to follow presents a risk to the future funding of NHS Wales."

Gwent GP Dr David Bailey, who chair the British Medical Association's Welsh Council, said: “Whilst the DDRBs recommendations could have gone further to address many years of below inflation rises, doctors in Wales will be pleased that the Welsh Government has decided to implement the recommendations made by the independent panel.

“At a time when the NHS is facing severe staff shortages across the UK, and doctors are having to manage unprecedented levels of demand, this announcement and the decision to backdate the pay award to April 2018, shows that the Welsh Government understands the value of doctors who are working tirelessly to improve and maintain the health of the people of Wales."