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


We must ensure every STP succeeds

30/08/2017We must ensure every STP succeeds

Niall Dickson, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, considers what els... more >
Changing our digital culture and safeguarding patient data

08/08/2017Changing our digital culture and safeguarding patient data

Joanna Smith, chief information officer at Royal Brompton & Harefield N... more >

editor's comment

13/06/2017Tackling the major challenges facing the NHS

As you will have gathered from the front cover, a theme that runs throughout this edition of NHE is about empowering and involving the workforce in order to deliver innovative change across the system.  Professor Jane Dacre, president of the Royal College of Physicians, highlights on page 16 the importance of sustainability and transformation partnerships/plans (STPs) being implemented and delivered with clinical input at their core.  And the Health Foundation’s... read more >

last word

Your personality, your leadership

Your personality, your leadership

Deirdre Wallace, clinical skills manager at UCL Medical School, discusses the importance of learning about leadership and self while at medical school. Approximately five years ago, I was charg more > more last word articles >


Improving care at the touch of a screen

08/08/2017Improving care at the touch of a screen

When it comes to dementia, having a calm and safe environment can have a su... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

Ensuring quality in the new NHS

11/09/2017Ensuring quality in the new NHS

Dr Marion Andrews-Evans, member of the NHS Clinical Commissioners (NHSCC) Nurses Forum steering group and executive nurse & quality lead at NHS Gloucestershire CCG, sings ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar


September 2017

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