Javid comes under pressure to deliver 'inflation-busting' NHS pay rise – Nursing Times

‘This is a situation that cannot go on indefinitely’
25 May, 2022 By
Source:&nbsp Yves Salmon
Community nurses struggling with increased fuel costs are among those the NHS is at risk of losing if the government fails to deliver a “decent” wage rise for staff this year, the health and social care secretary has been warned.
The union Unison has today written to Sajid Javid demanding a pay deal for 2022-23 that will help health staff cope with the spiralling cost of living and prevent further workers from quitting their jobs.
“It’s costing us to come to work and many nurses will unfortunately have to leave the profession”
Community nurse
The letter has been signed by more than 35,000 health workers and members of the public.
“What every NHS employee needs – from nurses and paramedics to porters and healthcare assistants – is a decent wage rise and genuine measures to convince them to stay,” the letter to Mr Javid urged.
“If more staff leave the NHS, those left behind will find it tougher to provide the standards of care patients rightly expect.
“Fewer staff will mean longer ambulance queues outside hospitals, ever-increasing waiting lists and people who are in desperate need of treatment getting sicker.”
The letter comes as a part of a national day of action on pay led by Unison, which has seen NHS staff gather outside the union’s headquarters in London with a giant envelope addressed to Mr Javid featuring the words “put NHS pay right”.
Among those who shared their cost-of-living experiences with Unison for the campaign was a community nurse who warned of the impact of the rise in fuel costs on staff who rely on their cars to reach patients.
The nurse said: “The cost of fuel has dramatically increased and many of us are struggling to pay the price increase.
“It’s costing us to come to work and many nurses will unfortunately have to leave the profession.”
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Nurses in the NHS are still waiting to hear what their 2022-23 pay rise will be due to delays in the Agenda for Change pay review process for the second year in a row.
The government has already indicated that a 3% pay uplift for this financial year is all it can afford when it gave its evidence in February to the NHS Pay Review Body, which makes recommendations on pay.
However, in the 12 months to April 2022, prices in the UK increased by 9% on average, according to the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rate.
“We hugely value and appreciate all our NHS staff”
DHSC spokesperson
Meanwhile, recent figures from the Nursing and Midwifery Council show that more than 25,000 nurses left the register in 2021-22 – the first time in recent years that leaver numbers have increased.
Unison head of health, Sara Gorton, said: “This is a desperate situation with NHS staff already quitting in their droves. The government can no longer put its head in the sand over this crisis.
“It’s patients who will suffer when there are too few staff to provide proper care. Ministers must ensure workers are encouraged to stay with an above-inflation wage rise and an end to poverty pay.”
The connections between pay, staff retention and patient safety were also highlighted yesterday by the president of the Royal College of Nursing.
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Responding to the Unison letter, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: “We hugely value and appreciate all our NHS staff.
“NHS staff received a 3% pay rise last year, despite a public sector pay freeze, which has increased nurses’ pay by £1,000 on average and we are giving NHS workers another pay rise this year.
“No decisions have been made, and we will carefully consider all pay recommendations this summer once the pay review bodies’ final reports are submitted.”
So 3% is deemed to be hugely valuing us? Liars. We are still in real terms worse off than before the wage freeze. “huge” won’t do; obviously we need absolutely unbelievably effing humungous pay rise with knobs and bells on. Fat chance.
When we as the RCN and unison say nurses pay rise, this is not true as we are fighting for all NHS staff. How is this? Please say all NHS staff rather than nurses and then ensure all staff other than nurses belong to a union so as my union fees are used for fighting for nursing pay and not everyone else not belonging to a union and relying on primarily the threats of nurses leaving etc. I’m sorry to say and this maybe harsh but admin , porters etc can be replaced easily but nursing, AHP’s , pharmacists and clinical staff have to train for min 3-4 years and cannot be easily replaced.
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