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Nurse pay rise could mean cuts to cancer and primary care

NHS England leaders warn that without a boost in funding from the government, a pay rise for nursing staff could impact on patients and other services

NHS England leaders warn that without a boost in funding from the government, a pay rise for nursing staff could impact on patients and other services

A pay rise for nurses could mean budget cuts for cancer care and primary care services, according to NHS leaders.

As staff await an announcement on this year’s pay proposals from the NHS Pay Review Body, NHS England board directors warned that without a boost in funding from the government, a pay rise for nurses and other staff could impact on patients and other services.

With the announcement already delayed by three months, leaders at an

NHS England leaders warn that without a boost in funding from the government, a pay rise for nursing staff could impact on patients and other services

Nurses’ pay rise could mean cuts for cancer and primary care services
Illustration: iStock

A pay rise for nurses could mean budget cuts for cancer care and primary care services, according to NHS leaders.

As staff await an announcement on this year’s pay proposals from the NHS Pay Review Body, NHS England board directors warned that without a boost in funding from the government, a pay rise for nurses and other staff could impact on patients and other services.

With the announcement already delayed by three months, leaders at an NHS England board meeting on 7 July expressed the possibility that a pay rise above 3% would need more funding from the government or lead to cuts elsewhere.

Nurses made to feel as if it’s a choice between a fair wage and patient care, says RCN

But unions have said that any pay rise needs to be properly funded, and staff should not be made to feel as if it is a choice between a fair wage and patient care.

RCN England director Patricia Marquis said: ‘NHS England boss Amanda Pritchard was right to recognise the “operational necessity” of a fair pay rise for nursing.

‘After a decade of real-terms pay cuts and in the midst of a cost of living disaster, this year’s pay award needs to be a big one – 5% above the level of inflation to make people feel valued, prevent more from leaving and keep patients safe.

‘This must be fully funded with additional investment from government.’

6,000 jobs set to be culled in bid to save £1 billion over five years

The warning comes despite a 1.25% hike to national insurance from April through the Health and Social Care Levy, which former chancellor Rishi Sunak pledged was to fund investment in the NHS and wider healthcare.

Additionally, Ms Pritchard told staff last week that 6,000 jobs are set to be culled from NHS England, Health Education England and NHS Digital, in a bid to save £1 billion over five years.

UNISON head of health Sara Gorton said: ‘All parts of the system need to be pulling in the same direction to tackle the NHS staffing crisis. That means getting behind an immediate and decent pay rise for health workers.’

A government spokesperson said: ‘The government wants a fair pay deal for nurses, doctors and the taxpayer and is carefully considering the recommendations from the independent pay review bodies.

‘We are incredibly grateful to all NHS staff and they received a 3% pay rise last year – increasing nurses’ pay by £1,000 on average despite a public sector pay freeze – and we are giving NHS workers another pay rise this year.’


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