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Nurses get ready for parliamentary debate on NHS pay

Thousands of nurses have contacted their MPs to urge them to take part in today’s parliamentary debate about NHS pay.

Thousands of nurses have contacted their MPs to urge them to take part in today’s parliamentary debate about NHS pay.

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Nurses are gearing up for a parliamentary debate later today about scrapping the 1% pay cap on NHS salaries.

Some 10,000 RCN members have already contacted their MPs to ask them to attend the debate through an online tool developed by the college.

A lobby of parliament organised by the RCN is due to take place before the debate in the House of Commons, where nurses can meet MPs to discuss the impact of the pay cap.

Nurse Danielle Tiplady started an online petition that became a catalyst for the debate after more than 100,000 people signed it.

The petition demands an end to pay restraint imposed on Agenda for Change NHS staff, stating they have lost 14% of their pay in real terms since 2010.

Financial hardship

In a blog post RCN president Cecila Anim appealed directly to nurses, urging them to contact their MPs to explain ‘the financial hardship you face every day, and the sacrifices you make, just so you and your family can get by’.

She said the argument for scrapping the cap was clear and added: ‘Remember, each MP represents 90,000 constituents on average, but more than 1,000 of these are nursing staff, making us a force to be reckoned with.

‘The remaining 89,000 are our patients, who expect the very best patient care from nursing staff who feel valued and well supported.’

Nurses have been posting their views ahead of the debate on Twitter. Health visitor and nurse Jenni Watts tweeted: ‘Watching #hospital staff coming in on days off, constant fire fighting, endless juggling of resources – time for a fair pay rise #scrapthecap.’

The RCN has also organised a thunderclap message about the campaign to be simultaneously shared by supporters at noon today. Supporters of a cause grant the ‘crowdspeaking’ platform website permission to post messages on their behalf across their social media accounts at the same time.

In September, the RCN urged the NHS Pay Review Body (RB), which advises the government on NHS staff pay, to recommend a meaningful pay rise for NHS workers for the 2017-18 pay round.

The RB is expected to submit its report to ministers by the end of February.


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