Nurse with a patient in a home visit

RCN leader: PM must stand by nursing staff and reward them

Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), Dame Donna Kinnair, has reiterated her view that a more substantial pay award must be provided to nursing staff, with respect to their role during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson previously announced a 1% NHS pay rise.

This led to arguments from a number of healthcare organisations, including the RCN, that there should have been a much more substantial increase awarded.

The RCN launched their Fair Pay for Nursing campaign which called for a fully-funded 12.5% pay increase for all nursing staff covered by the Agenda for Change terms, as part of a one-year deal which applied equally to all bands.

In January, the RCN also submitted evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body to make recommendations to ministers on pay for NHS staff, explaining why nursing staff deserve the 12.5% rise, its affordability and stressing the link between fair pay, staff recruitment and retention and maintaining safe staffing levels across the NHS.

Speaking at a virtual conference for RCN representatives, Dame Kinnair said: “I’m appealing directly to Boris Johnson today to think back 12 months.

“When he told the world he owed his life to the care of nursing staff. When he acknowledged that the people who looked after him were putting themselves in harm’s way.”

“He had his eyes opened to the difference 21st century nursing makes. He told the country it was two nurses who stood guard for 48 hours and made lifesaving interventions.

“How would he feel if he saw them now?

“They stood by you, now stand by them.”

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