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Nurse pay and benefits: enough of the applause and empty plaudits, says think thank

IPPR warns that government must improve workforce strategy to retain healthcare staff
Applause for NHS

Institute for Public Policy Research warns that government must improve workforce strategy to retain healthcare staff

Nurses deserve better pay and workplace perks like hot meals and staff room upgrades, not applause and empty plaudits, says a new think tank report.

A poll commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggests that 29% of nurse and midwife respondents are more likely to leave the health service in 2021 compared to February last year.

Recover, Reward, Renew report based on YouGov poll of over 1,000 healthcare workers

The

Institute for Public Policy Research warns that government must improve workforce strategy to retain healthcare staff

Picture: Alamy

Nurses deserve better pay and workplace perks like hot meals and staff room upgrades, not applause and empty plaudits, says a new think tank report.

A poll commissioned by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) suggests that 29% of nurse and midwife respondents are more likely to leave the health service in 2021 compared to February last year.

Recover, Reward, Renew report based on YouGov poll of over 1,000 healthcare workers

The IPPR report – titled Recover, Reward, Renew: A Post-pandemic Plan for the Healthcare Workforce – is based on an online poll of 1,006 healthcare workers, including 200 nurses and midwives, conducted by YouGov in February.

In addition to a pay rise of 5% for NHS staff, the report recommends expanding workplace benefits, including meal vouchers, reimbursing travel costs and staff room upgrades.

Government needs to change its workforce strategy

IPPR senior research fellow Chris Thomas said the government needs to change its strategy.

‘Applause and empty plaudits are not a workforce strategy. Workers need a new deal after a year of unprecedented pressure. If that’s not forthcoming, the government risks a deadly exodus of healthcare workers in the years to come,’ he said.

The IPPR poll found pay was the most pressing concern to workers, with 70% of all respondents saying this was most important and adding that a pay rise of 5% is the acceptable minimum.

The report also noted that pandemic workplace benefits, such as free parking, meal vouchers, and travel cost reimbursement were placed second to pay by those who were surveyed and urged employers to invest in keeping these for staff in the long term.

Union urges government to reconsider pay deal to prevent exodus of nurses

Dame Professor Donna Kinnair
Dame Professor Donna Kinnair

RCN general secretary Dame Professor Donna Kinnair said the report should act as a wake-up call to government.

‘Ministers must now rethink their pay offer and put in proper support services for those who have given so much in the last year.’

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson defended the government’s record on pay, saying that over 1 million NHS staff have benefitted from multi-year pay deals, including a pay rise of over 12% for newly qualified nurses.


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