Nurses to continue fighting pay cap as policy dropped for police

Medical workers have today vowed to continue fighting against the 1% public sector pay cap as it was revealed the unpopular policy would be lifted for police officers.

A statement from government also said that the pay cap will be lifted for the wider sector from next year.

The Home Office said that the immediate pay rise for police officers strikes a “fair balance for police forces, officers and taxpayers”.

“The tireless work and contribution of police officers in responding to some of the most challenging situations our country has faced for a very long time has been extraordinary,” home secretary Amber Rudd stated.

But workers from across the health sector have immediately hit back by saying they will only stop protesting against the cap once the government confirms it will be lifted for the whole public sector.

Janet Daviest, the chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, who has been staging protests against the cap, commented: “This puts another nail in the coffin of the public sector pay cap but it must be scrapped in full. Today’s vague signals are not enough.

“Only when it appears in writing as the formal remit of the pay review body process, will we accept that the cap has gone.”

And Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said there was clearly growing support for public sector workers' message to the government - that the pay cap is unfair, unacceptable and must be lifted.

“Even the prime minister isn’t so sure that it is a good idea anymore,” he stated. “Doctors’ pay has sharply declined, falling by 22% since 2005. 

“Staff morale across the health service has been worsened by year on year real-term cuts to pay through the government’s public sector pay cap.”

Dr Nagpaul also argued that the NHS was struggling to attract and retain doctors, with a recent BMA survey finding that two-thirds of hospital doctors, and almost half of GPs, report vacancies in their departments and practices.

“With the NHS at breaking point investing in the NHS workforce and providing fair terms and conditions must be a priority for this government, otherwise the NHS simply won’t be able to attract and keep the frontline staff needed to deliver safe, high-quality patient care,” he concluded.

Niall Dickson, chief executive of NHS Confederation said that though the workforce was the biggest issue facing the health sector at the moment, lifting the pac cap could have a detrimental effect on the already fragile finances of trusts. 

"While it is clear the ability to restrain pay without impacting on recruitment or retention is now over, and while we agree the public sector pay cap should be lifted, the worst thing the government could do is expect local NHS organisations to pick up the additional costs," he commented.

"It’s vital the Government commits to meeting the costs of doing so with additional NHS funding.

“All the signs are that NHS trusts will certainly struggle this winter. Last year the NHS managed incredibly well but we cannot continue just to rely on a hope that viruses will not wreak havoc, that the weather will be clement and that staff commitment will get us through. Pay rises are key but also additional funding to meet rising demand.”

Top Image: Peter Byrne/PA Wire

Have you got a story to tell? Would you like to become an NHE columnist? If so, click here.


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment


national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News


Getting more out of our medicines

20/06/2018Getting more out of our medicines

Paul Chrisp, programme director of medicines and technologies at NICE, desc... more >
Under attack

20/06/2018Under attack

One attack against an NHS worker is one too many. But unfortunately, the tr... more >

editor's comment

25/09/2017A hotbed of innovation

This edition of NHE comes hot on the heels of this year’s NHS Expo which, once again, proved to be a huge success at Manchester Central. A number of announcements were made during the event, with the health secretary naming the second wave of NHS digital pioneers, or ‘fast followers’, which follow the initial global digital exemplars who were revealed at the same show 12 months earlier.  Jeremy Hunt also stated that by the end of 2018 – the 70th birthday... read more >

last word

Hard to be optimistic

Hard to be optimistic

Rachel Power, chief executive of the Patients Association, warns that we must be realistic about the very real effects of continued underfunding across the health service. It’s now beyond more > more last word articles >


Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

24/01/2018Duncan Selbie: A step on the journey to population health

The NHS plays a part in the country’s wellness – but it’s... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

The impact of NICE on cardiovascular disease prevention

06/06/2018The impact of NICE on cardiovascular disease prevention

Professor Gillian Leng, deputy chief executive and director Health and Social Care at NICE, looks into what can be done to decrease cardiovascular disease nationally and how t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar


June 2018

mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8

featured articles

View all News