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House prices rose six times faster than average nurse’s pay over past decade – report

Researchers say prospect of nurses getting on property ladder ‘now almost inconceivable’

Researchers say prospect of nurses getting on property ladder now almost inconceivable

NHS nurses pay cannot meet the demands of the housing market, according to a new report, with house prices increasing six times faster than an average nurses salary over the past decade.

The price of the average UK home rose by 55% in the past 10 years, from 165,600 in 2011 to 256,400 in 2021, according to the report by consultancy firm London Economics . Meanwhile, the pay of a nurse at the top of band 5 in England only increased by 9% over the same period, said the RCN.

RCN reiterates call for 12.5% pay rise for

Researchers say prospect of nurses getting on property ladder ‘now almost inconceivable’

Picture: iStock

NHS nurses’ pay cannot meet the demands of the housing market, according to a new report, with house prices increasing six times faster than an average nurse’s salary over the past decade.

The price of the average UK home rose by 55% in the past 10 years, from £165,600 in 2011 to £256,400 in 2021, according to the report by consultancy firm London Economics. Meanwhile, the pay of a nurse at the top of band 5 in England only increased by 9% over the same period, said the RCN.

RCN reiterates call for 12.5% pay rise for nurses

The government has proposed a 1% pay rise for NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts. The independent Pay Review Body, which advises ministers on NHS pay, is expected to offer its recommendations later this month.

However, the findings of the London Economics report have reignited the RCN’s call for all NHS nursing staff in the UK to be given a 12.5% pay rise.

London Economics’ senior consultant Gavan Conlon said: ‘With the proposed pay rise currently on offer, the prospect of nursing staff getting on the property ladder is now almost inconceivable.’

Graham Revie

‘Nursing wages are left in the wake of spiralling living costs’

Chair of the RCN trade union committee Graham Revie said the government needs to tip the scales in favour of nursing staff.

‘This research shows nursing wages are left in the wake of spiralling living costs such as house prices. The proposed 1% pay rise won’t come close to remedying the suppression of nursing salaries over the past ten years.’

Nurses share their difficulties getting on the housing ladder

The college has gathered anecdotal evidence of the difficulties nurses are facing when trying to buy a home, with one nurse saying she was considering leaving her young child in the UK to take a job in Dubai for three months to save for a house deposit.

Another said a mortgage broker ‘laughed in her face’ when she told them she was a nurse and wanted to buy a home.

Nurses’ housing problems have knock-on effect on patients – RCN

RCN acting general secretary Pat Cullen said: ‘The impact of nursing staff being priced out of the neighbourhoods where they work is devastating not just for them but also their patients and families – and the community also becomes at risk of poor health and patient care.’

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘Over one million NHS staff have already benefited from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, which have increased the starting salary for a newly qualified nurse by over 12%.’


Read the London Economics report

The evolution of nurse pay and house prices since March 2011


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