NHS pay must match staff commitment, urge heath providers

Staff must be 'fairly rewarded for the commitments they make'.
Stephen Dorrell at Confed17

The extraordinary commitment of healthcare staff cannot be expected to continue if the pay cap remains in place, the head of the membership body for NHS providers has said.

NHS Confederation chair Stephen Dorrell speaking at Confed17 in Liverpool.
Picture: Terence Philips

In his opening remarks to his organisation's annual conference, NHS Confederation chair Stephen Dorrell praised the outstanding practice of health and social care workers.

He told the audience of 1,000 health leaders at Confed17 in Liverpool: 'Let us begin by saluting those who have chosen to devote their lives to providing care and support to their fellow human beings.'

Emergency response

The former health secretary commended emergency services involved in the west London tower block fire this morning, and those who saved lives during the Manchester and London terror attacks.

Mr Dorrell added: 'I think of the staff who were themselves off duty on those nights but who saw what was happening and ran not away from but towards the danger; and I think particularly of Kirsty Boden, the off-duty nurse from Guy’s Hospital, whose selfless courage cost her her life.'

He said such commitment should not be taken for granted, and that it was important that staff were 'fairly rewarded for the commitments they make'.

'We all know that financial resources are stretched, but we cannot expect to benefit from the continued commitment of our staff if they feel that public sector pay policy offers them no reasonable prospect of meeting their private needs and aspirations,' Mr Dorrell told the conference.

He emphasised the workforce problems and said: 'It is the role of the Confed to ensure that the tale is heard and acted on.'

Social care

Mr Dorrell welcomed the government's recognition before the general election of the issues facing social care, and said more needed to be done. He said such action did not just need to come in the form of money, but in the structure and integration of services.

'We need to build on the work done by Sustainability and Transformation Plans and local authorities, which offers the prospect of more joined-up services that reflect local needs,' he told the audience.

Confed17 runs today and tomorrow.

Topics to be debated include Brexit, digital technology, workforce and equality.

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