News

Delay in nurses’ pay rise confirmed in letter from health and social care secretary

RCN says government is dragging out the process and nurses should not have to wait
Picture shows a young woman looking in her purse, which appears empty

RCN says government is dragging out the process and nurses should not have to wait

A decision on a pay rise for nurses will be left in limbo until the end of next spring, a letter by health and social care secretary Matt Hancock confirms.

In the letter to the NHS Pay Review Body , which advises the government on pay for Agenda for Change staff employed in the NHS, Mr Hancock emphasised affordability and invited a report back by next May.

No

RCN says government is dragging out the process and nurses should not have to wait

Picture shows a young woman looking in her purse, which appears empty
Picture: iStock

A decision on a pay rise for nurses will be left in limbo until the end of next spring, a letter by health and social care secretary Matt Hancock confirms.

In the letter to the NHS Pay Review Body, which advises the government on pay for Agenda for Change staff employed in the NHS, Mr Hancock emphasised affordability and invited a report back by next May.

‘No way to treat NHS staff still working through a pandemic’

The letter said: ‘The affordability of pay recommendations will have to be considered within the context of the significant financial and economic pressures that have resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic, both within the NHS and wider public finances.’

Commenting on the letter, RCN general secretary Dame Donna Kinnair said many nursing staff are worse off now than they were ten years ago and that a significant pay rise is needed to reflect the skills and value of the profession.

Professor Kinnair said: ‘The government seems intent on dragging it out even longer. Nursing staff should not have to wait for a pay rise. This is no way to treat NHS staff still working through a pandemic.

‘At a time when many experienced nurses are burned out, exhausted and considering leaving the career they love, the link between unfair pay, staffing levels and patient safety is stark. A pay increase is vital so that existing staff stay in post and the health service is able to begin to fill the tens of thousands of nursing vacancies.’

NHS staff exempt from pause on pay rises for public sector workers

Confirmation of the delay also generated criticism online, with one comment on Nursing Standard’s Facebook page contrasting pay rises for nurses and politicians: ‘The independent pay review body set up by the government to assess their pay rises has recommended that politicians should receive a £3,000 pay rise. They did not recommend that those same politicians should wait until next summer.’

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care stressed that NHS staff will be exempt from the temporary pause on pay rises for public sector workers. They said more than one million NHS staff are benefiting from deals that have delivered pay rises of over 12% for newly qualified nurses and 8.2% for junior doctors.


Find out more

NHS Pay Review Body remit letter: 2021 to 2022 (DHSC)


In other news

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to cancernursingpractice.com
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs