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Readers panel: Is scrapping the pay cap an empty gesture if future pay rises are linked to productivity? 

When health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that the 1% pay cap for NHS staff had been scrapped, he said future pay rises could be linked to productivity improvements. Nursing Standard readers have their say. 

When health secretary Jeremy Hunt announced that the 1% pay cap for NHS staff had been scrapped, he said future pay rises could be linked to productivity improvements. Nursing Standard readers have their say 


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Jane Scullion (@JaneScullion) is a respiratory nurse consultant in Leicester

The news that the 1% pay cap is being scrapped should be met with jubilation after years of nurses’ pay lagging behind inflation, the cost of living and other pay rises, including that of MPs. But the devil is in the detail. Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has not said how big the rise will be, or if extra money will be allocated to the NHS to fund it. As for linking it to productivity improvements, is this just artful deception on the part of the government? 


Beverley Ramdeen (@BeverleyRamdeen) is a senior nursing lecturer at the University of Hertfordshire 

On the surface, scrapping the 1% pay cap appears to be a positive move. Yet Mr Hunt’s comments that future pay rises could be linked to productivity throw up more questions than answers. How will productivity be measured given the range of healthcare settings and roles? Who will be responsible for this? And what impact will this proposal have on staffing and patient care?  One cannot help but feel that this is just another empty gesture. 


Daniel Athey (@danjathey) is a charge nurse on an acute medical unit in Sheffield 

Scrapping the pay cap is undoubtedly a good thing, but linking pay to productivity improvements sounds ominous, suggesting pay rates based on targets and quotas. When the move was announced by Mr Hunt, he failed to take the next step and say there will be a pay rise, or even pay rates to match inflation. While this is the news we have been waiting for, I fear it is simply a hollow gesture. 


Drew Payne (@drew_london) is a community staff nurse in north London 

Nurses’ pay has been cut in real terms and we need a substantial rise. But without any funding, how can we believe Mr Hunt’s scrapping of the cap is anything but spin? Trying to link our pay to productivity is insulting as we already work extremely hard. Or is this just another way to cap our pay? What next – the NHS can’t afford a pay rise above 1%? I fear the pay cap is going to be replaced with emotional blackmail and spin.

 

Readers panel members give their views in a personal capacity only 

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