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Health Secretary should not insult nurses with 1 per cent pay rise, says Royal College of Nursing

The RCN said feedback from the NHS pay review body is likely to be in Mr Javid’s in-tray along with the union’s demand for a 12.5 per cent pay increase for nursing staff

NEWLY appointed Health Secretary Sajid Javid should not insult nurses with a measly 1 per cent pay rise, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said today.

NHS staff were due a pay rise in April; the government recommended that certain NHS staff, including nurses, should receive just a 1 per cent rise, but ministers said they would await the recommendations of the body that reviews pay.

The RCN said feedback from the NHS pay review body is likely to be in Mr Javid’s in-tray along with the union’s demand for a fully funded 12.5 per cent pay increase for nursing staff. 

Pat Cullen, acting leader of the RCN, told the BBC today: “[Mr Javid’s] most important priority for nursing is to put a national recovery plan in place that addresses the nursing workforce issues — the tens of thousands of vacancies that we’ve got right across England — which really can’t continue.

“And we did see that through the pandemic, where nurses felt that they were approaching the pandemic with one hand tied behind their back: those vacancies need to be addressed.”

She said that NHS’s waiting-list backlog will not be addressed unless the workforce crisis is addressed.

Her call for urgent action was backed by other unions. 

Unison’s general secretary Christina McAnea said: “Public confidence in key government decisions about health has been undermined in recent days. This must be restored, and quickly.

“Top of Sajid Javid’s in-tray must be pressing the Prime Minister to announce a proper pay rise for exhausted NHS workers and fix the staffing crisis in health.

“He also has to deliver the radical reform that’s so desperately needed in social care.”

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