News

08.03.16

NHS staff 1% pay rise ‘not good enough’

A 1% pay rise for NHS staff has been described as “not good enough”, leading to accusations that the government isn’t listening to NHS workers.

The government announced today that following recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) and the Doctors’ and Dentists’ pay review body it will apply the 1% pay increase to nurses, midwives, paramedics, healthcare assistants, consultants, junior doctors and GP and dental contractors from April.

However, nursing and midwifery representatives immediately criticised the pay increase, saying it failed to make up for pay shortages for staff.

Jon Skewes, director for policy, employment relations, policy and communications at the Royal College of Midwives, said: “This award recognises the hard work and dedication of midwives and other NHS staff. However, it is not good enough.

“We also need to see this government recognise that midwives and many other NHS staff already offer a 24 hour and day, seven day a week service, and they should be rewarded fairly for this. The government should not be giving with one hand and taking away with the other. It makes no sense, it demoralises staff and it has a direct impact on patient care.”

He said that there was a shortfall in NHS staff wages because the government had ignored PRB recommendations to raise them in recent years, and that the PRB was constrained by government policy.

Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said that although it was “encouraging” that the government had listened to the recommendations, the increase did not make up for the fact that nursing pay had fallen 14% in real terms.

Davies said: “Nurses have been telling the government that they are struggling to make ends meet, and are asking themselves if they can afford to continue nursing. Their warnings have repeatedly fallen on deaf ears.

“The earnings of the people who are looking after us and keeping our health service going have fallen way behind everyone else. Worse, they have fallen way behind inflation.

“Nurses cannot afford for this to continue, and neither can the health service.”

In 2014 NHS workers from nine different unions, including nurses, midwives, radiographers, paramedics, administrators, cleaners and managers, went on strike over the government’s refusal to implement the recommended 1% increase.

The most recent NHS staff survey found only 37% of NHS staff are satisfied with their pay and 60% have worked unpaid overtime.

The pay increase is designed to boost staff numbers ahead of the government’s planned launch of a seven-day NHS.

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “It is thanks to the care, quality and dedication of NHS staff we are beginning to deliver a safer seven-day NHS for patients.”

For junior doctors, the pay increase is combined with the imposition of an unpopular new contract in August which will lead to a reduction in weekend rates. The doctors are set to launch three 48 hour strikes from tomorrow in protest.

The government previously announced £220m extra funding for GPs, partly to pay for the wage increase.

Comments

Gailey   09/03/2016 at 07:06

I have come to expect no less from the government. They wonder why the NHS have big agency bills!

Nicholas Martin   09/03/2016 at 08:43

As Noam Chomsky said... "That's the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don't work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital." A British doctor recently got hit by a lorry in the US. The hospital where he was treated before repatriation quoted his treatment as costing in excess of $1,000,000. If the same accident had happened in the UK his treatment would have been paid for out of general taxation and free at the point of delivery. Nothing is "free", but if we all pay in to the system we can all look after each other (without paying profits to big business) when we are affected by ill health or accident.

Dr. Koshy   09/05/2016 at 16:57

Hmm, very sincere and nice indeed, " On the recommendation of the DDRB.." When our MPs had a hefty pay hike earlier this year, not to mention the one last year, "it was imposed !! on them". (sic). Not one of them carry the responsibilities or do the kind of job or the hours which the doctors and nurses do. Somehow 1% seems adequate for doctors and nurses !!

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