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25.09.13

Pay increase ‘not appropriate’ – NHS Employers

Increasing NHS pay by 1% would be unaffordable, NHS Employers has warned.

In evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body, which makes recommendations to the Government on pay awards for health professionals (except doctors, dentists and board level managers), NHS Employers highlighted that failure to freeze pay scales for 2014/15 could put “unnecessary” pressure on quality and could even cost jobs.

A 1% pay rise would cost the NHS £500m. NHS Employers argued that recruitment and retention was steady across the NHS, as was morale, and pay remains attractive. A decision to increase pay rates could hamper the health service’s ability to respond to patient needs and increasing demand, it added.

Dean Royles, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “We have been listening to employers and they tell us that money in the NHS is very tight, while they are doing everything they can to retain staff and increase quality.

“We are already seeing considerable pressure on our ability to maintain staffing numbers and any such increase is bound to add to the pressure, impact on patient care and undermine job security. So a pay increase is not appropriate this year. If the pay review is minded to increase pay, we have asked that this be deferred to facilitate pay reform and support negotiations on terms and conditions rather than adding it directly to pay scales.”

But Dr Peter Carter, chief executive & general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said a pay increase of 1% “should not prevent employers from recruiting more nurses”.                                           

He said: “We acknowledge that savings must be made in the NHS, however surely it would be better to start with the many examples of waste, in procurement and IT systems for example. It is demoralising for nursing staff to discover that while senior managers have enjoyed a pay increase of 13% since 2009, it is frontline staff who are being asked to sacrifice their living standards to save the NHS money.

“These frontline staff are already suffering as a result of NHS cuts, as they face greater demand with fewer resources. Another year of pay freezes sends entirely the wrong message that this contribution is not being valued while putting staff under even more pressure, which is bad for patient care.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Comments

Steve   25/09/2013 at 17:21

I'm a practice manager at a GP surgery and we along with many other practices have already received our increase (1.32%) in our case. I suggest that those people who haven't received it make it know that the employers have received the payment and they shouldn't be hanging on to it to fund other things with.

Vanessa   26/09/2013 at 08:28

My pay was frozen for two years 2011 to 2012, and I received a 1% payrise this year - I am top of Band 4 and I don't consider my salaray attractive by any means for the responsibilities I have. In my department Managers on Band 7 & 8 still moved up their bands every year and there was no effect of a pay freeze on them at all. If there is going to be another pay freeze then make sure everyone is included particularly senior management. Morale is rock bottom and staff are leaving left right and centre - where do these people get their information from?

Bob   26/09/2013 at 11:11

Its publically known that our Trusts CEO just received a 16% or 27k pay increase at the same time as our staff are being reorganized, demoted and being asked to work smarter with less resource in order to make necessary savings. All in it together? Really?

Tracy   26/09/2013 at 15:36

I am a band 5 staff nurse, I have worked at the same hospital for the last 30 yrs. I have been at the top of my band for at least the last 15yrs! I have not had a pay increase in quite a number of yrs, this is very demoralising, particularly when higher bands are still going up the pay scale so to speak and the only increase in salary that I would get would be from a national pay increase-which we do not get!. Surely it would be a good idea as previously mentioned that the Trusts look at saving money on IT and sorting out a computer system that would work across all Trusts so that all could access Patient info rather than individual Trust only access! Up keep of the hospitals, surely a good thing to improve and keep those changes rather than a few months decide down the line that they want to change the lay out etc of areas, which incures more cost again! There are other ways of saving money rather than saving money on front line staff like Nurses pay, as we seem to be the ones always making sacrifes!

Jaycee   02/10/2013 at 16:07

Like Nurses All of the bands 7 and downwards (I am a band 5) have taken a hit in pay increases over the last few years while those at the top bands get increases. It is not just front line staff but those who work in research as well that are taking the hit. Why is it that it is the NHS that has to take the hit when the economy is in tatters instead of totally nationalising the banking system and get rid of the fat cats that cream off the money and don't forget their other perks. We are even having to take lower pensions which are not freebies - we have to contribute to them which has also taken a hike. The politicians should do as they preach and award themselves either wage cuts or freezes for 3 or 4 years and see how they like it.

Debbie   03/10/2013 at 12:05

It is pretty poor that the public sector is now acting as irresponsibly as the private sector in terms of pay and pension cuts for the majority while those at the top continue to get their pay rises, pension enhancements and golden handshakes. The NHS needs more frontline staff and doers within the organisation and by not giving even this measley 1% means yet another year of paycuts in real terms - the NHS cannot continue to run on the goodwill of it's staff because we are running on empty.

Kaye Harris   07/10/2013 at 10:42

1% is not a lot to pay for the most important part of the NHS its frontline staff. Most staff already work above their hours each week for no pay at all so what would a message like no to a pay rise give out to tired,patient,low moral,loyal and hard working frontline staff who if they worked to rule services could not be delivered.

Andy   09/10/2013 at 13:03

My wife is a nurse. I would love to see the NHS wake up and act responsibly. If the staff actually invoiced the NHS for the amount of extra hours they did unpaid, the amout of training that you have to do in your own time because 'they can't let you off the ward during working time' - the NHS would close tomorrow. How about the NHS stops p1ssing tens of millions up the wall on flawed IT projects, business consultants and reviews and got back to the basic fundamentals of a good service. Let the acutal stuff run a trust for a month and see what differences would be made (and I guess substantially for the better)...

Jan   10/10/2013 at 20:53

I have been a nurse since 1972. Some of the time I have worked reduced hours to care for my children. I have been at the top of my pay band now for four years. Apart from the miniscule rise we got last year, my salary has fallen way behind inflation. The only way I have to increase my pension is via an annual pay rise. A freeze on pay affects my standard of living FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE! I have no way of increasing my income as I hope to be retiring soon and I am a single income household. Already I have worked two years more than I planned. I am paid for 37.5 hours a week and usually work at least 42 hours and am very, very lucky to get any time back for it. I lost staff from my team last year as part of the cost improvement and I personally have had to absorb the work of those staff members, so now am doing the work of more than two people as well. I wonder if there will be any end to being used and abused. Nurses cannot take much more. We are, as Debbie stated previously, running on empty.

Alice   11/02/2014 at 13:12

I'm not a nurse but admin & clerical and we work through our lunches or have lunch at our desks. It's demoralising for staff to have to take pay cuts when Senior management can afford to go on teambuilding exercises and 'jollies' as they often call them. If senior managers can't manage staff by the time they get into Band 7 & above roles then surely they shouldn't be in the roles. Stop wasting monies on 'team building' exercises, expert consultants coming in to tell NHS managers how to manage and weed out those people who are excess to requirements at the top. That'll save us a lot of money surely!!

Nick   13/03/2014 at 18:43

This a typical Con Govt, seeking to reduce the debt by punishing hard working essential public sector workers all so they can reward themselves and their millionaire friends who evade tax by having offshore Trusts and accounts........ if the Govt wanted more money start with retrospective tax legislation and put those who avoid in millions in jail!! oh but I forget Gideon has a family Trust!!! That tells u everything!!

Ann   08/04/2014 at 20:24

I work in admin within nhs. I'm my work place I feel staff are not appreciated not rewarded for hard work and the hours and extra time put in. To be refused for the first time in 18 years of asking for a wage rise absolutely changed my opinion of the job I am in. And to also be told that we probably will not receive cost of living is disgraceful. Front line staff are totally stretched beyond limits.

Jane   26/04/2014 at 10:46

Once again it seems that the people on the ground that actually run the service on a day to day basis are the ones that are hit. Morale is low and we are constantly watching as money is thrown down the drain on things that don't better the patient pathway or care. why should the senior managment get high increases every year, Lead by example and get out on the wards and really see what is going on

Beverley   23/07/2014 at 14:30

Perhaps if they reduced the number management lines within Trusts (in ours there are 6) and put a pay freeze on those management lines they would have enough money to ensure that front line and administrative staff would actually get a payrise which they wholeheartedly deserve. Stress is at an all time high, overworked, demoralised, not appreciated and please dont tell me that middle and upper managment have to tacklet the tough decisions, they just pass it down the line for the next tier to deal with, it is disgraceful, even the Doctors are leaving the NHS and they get well paid

Patrick   13/08/2014 at 15:19

Why do we need NHS Employers? What do they actually do to add value?

Andy   31/08/2014 at 16:47

I read recently that the chief exec at the trust I work at received a 20k pay rise over the last 2 years. The rest of us are still to receive our 1%.

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