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Readers' panel: Will the 6.5% nursing pay increase over three years be enough to ease the recruitment and retention crisis? 

Nurses in England have been offered minimum pay rises of 6.5% if they accept a new three-year pay deal which has been agreed by unions, employers and the government. Nursing Standard readers have their say

Nurses in England have been offered minimum pay rises of 6.5% if they accept a new three-year pay deal which has been agreed by unions, employers and the government. Nursing Standard readers have their say 

Pay rise
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Liz Charalambous is a staff nurse and PhD student in Nottingham 
@lizcharalambou

It seems churlish to be sceptical when the government has finally agreed to a pay rise, and any increase is welcome. But nurses are still worse off in real-terms when you factor in the scrapping of the bursary, years of a pay cap, rising inflation, housing and travel costs. This is a great PR exercise for the Conservatives, but whether it will be enough to tackle the recruitment and retention crisis remains to be seen.

 

Grant Byrne is a nursing student in Edinburgh 
@GGByrne 

The combined efforts of 13 unions has won us a paltry 6.5% – less than half of what has been lost in real terms due to pay restraint. This offer is disappointing to say the least, but pay is only part of the problem; just one in six nurses leaving the profession cite pay as a concern. Nurses are at breaking point due to the pressures in healthcare and this poor pay offer could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. 

 

Rachel Kent is a mental health nurse in London

I trust that the unions, including the RCN, have done all they can to reach an acceptable deal with the government to address the shortfall in pay. Although this does not address the total real-term loss nurses have experienced, at least it is a positive step which comes without changes to annual leave entitlements or unsocial hours payments. But work still needs to be done to tackle other shortfalls in nursing pay. 

 

Drew Payne is a community staff nurse in London
@drew_london

The pay rise will be phased in over three years, and only the first instalment will be above inflation. For nurses like me, the increase will not restore the 14% fall in our salary since 2010, nor will it ease our heavy workloads and stressful working days. It won’t return bursaries for nursing students or fill the 40,000 empty nursing posts we currently have, and is very unlikely to encourage nurses back into the NHS. 

 

Readers panel members give their views in a personal capacity only 


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