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COVID-19 and sick pay: nurses went unpaid when forced to self-isolate, QNI survey reveals

General practice nurses report feeling ‘let down and unappreciated’

A Queen's Nursing Institute survey reveals many general practice nurses feel 'let down and unappreciated'

A lack of sick pay while self-isolating as well as general dissatisfaction with pay are two of the issues facing general practice nurses (GPNs), a survey suggests.

QNI surveyed 2,177 general practice nurses

The General Practice Survey 2020 carried out by the Queens Nursing Institute (QNI) gathered the opinions of 3,177 GPNs working in England in May 2020.

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A Queen's Nursing Institute survey reveals many general practice nurses feel 'let down and unappreciated'

Nurse at home self-isolating
Picture: iStock

A lack of sick pay while self-isolating as well as general dissatisfaction with pay are two of the issues facing general practice nurses (GPNs), a survey suggests.

QNI surveyed 2,177 general practice nurses

The General Practice Survey 2020 carried out by the Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) gathered the opinions of 3,177 GPNs working in England in May 2020.

Survey respondents said the absence of sick pay is a result of GPNs not having standardised terms and conditions like their NHS hospital colleagues.

‘Our practice does not pay for sick leave which caused a lot of difficulties when it came to staff following guidelines on self-isolation,’ one nurse told the QNI.

‘If we had standardised terms and conditions in GP surgeries along with the NHS this would not have been a problem’.

Dissatisfaction with pay conditions and lack of recognition

One nurse also suggested current pay and conditions could drive many GPNs to leave the profession.

‘Since the current pandemic has occurred there are an awful lot of GPNs who are being let down and not respected or appreciated, and many more experienced ones who can’t wait to get out and retire,’ they said.

Another nurse said they felt GPNs’ response during the pandemic showed their value and this should be acknowledged in their pay.

‘This should be reflected in our terms and conditions and should be included in Agenda for Change pay scales, especially if nurses are being expected to redeploy or adapt their roles to provide support in other NHS settings,’ they said.

GPNs, who are employed by independent general practices, are not included in England’s Agenda for Change pay deal and their pay is determined by employers.

QNI set to discuss pay issues with GP leaders

QNI chief executive Crystal Oldman said pay for GPNs was one issue the institute was hoping to address in the coming weeks.

‘The QNI is going to host a symposium with GP leaders in a few weeks’ time, to discuss the findings of the report and to ask their views of what can be done to resolve this issue,’ she said.

‘The employers hold the key to this and in the main it is GPs who are the employers – so we need to hear their views, share perspectives and be solution-focused in our discussions with them.’


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