THE Government has been accused of "taking a scalpel" to the pay of health workers by refusing to give an across the board wage rise.

Increases of one per cent will be given to some staff in the NHS, as well as to members of the armed forces, doctors and dentists, senior civil servants, prison officers and the judiciary.

But an estimated 600,000 health workers will only receive their normal incremental pay rise rather than the one per cent, which had been recommended by a pay review body.

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Around 400 very senior managers in the NHS will not receive the one per cent rise.

The move means that health workers face a fourth year of below-inflation increases and sparked anger from unions.

Unison accused the coalition of "taking a scalpel" to the pay review report and of showing contempt for NHS workers, adding that 70 per cent of nurses will receive no pay rise this year.

The GMB said it will now consult its members in the NHS on what they wanted to do, warning that the blocking of a full one per cent pay rise would be taken as "a personal insult".