Nursing staff head to the Fens to lobby new health minister (and MP for NE Cambs) Steve Barclay on pay cap

PUBLISHED: 15:24 23 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:24 23 January 2018

Steve Ney with MP Stephen Barclay

Steve Ney with MP Stephen Barclay


Nursing staff who lobbied MP Steve Barclay, a newly appointed health minister, revealed 425 signed postcards have been delivered to his constituency office from those opposed to the pay cap on wages.

Royal College of Nursing pay champion Steve Ney met with Mr Barclay, MP for NE Cambs, where they discussed nursing pay and its impact on staff morale, the ability to recruit and retain nursing staff locally, and levels of staffing required to deliver safe patient care.

The college says that since 2010, NHS nursing staff have experienced a 14 per cent real-terms pay cut, leaving them £3,000 a year worse off.

“Many have struggled to keep up with the cost of living while working in an increasingly pressurised and understaffed health and care system,” said a spokesman.

“Local nurses as well as over 300 RCN members in the North East Cambridgeshire constituency have been affected by the 1 per cent pay cap.”

“Academic research has shown that when registered nursing levels are lower, necessary care is more likely to be missed. A recent RCN UK-wide survey of 30,000 frontline staff found that more than half (55 per cent) said shifts did not have the level of nurses planned and the shortage compromised the care given to patients (53 per cent). “

The spokesman said: “In October 2017, Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, announced in the House of Commons that the 1% cap on nursing pay will be scrapped.

“At the following Autumn Budget, Chancellor Phillip Hammond, said that additional funding for a pay rise would not come from existing NHS budgets but it would be conditional on productivity increases. This concerns the RCN as nursing staff are already working above and beyond their normal working hours and regularly go without breaks.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Ney said: “It was helpful to meet with Mr Barclay to discuss the campaign. Nursing staff work tirelessly to care for patients but our jobs are getting harder and harder.

“In the Eastern region nursing staff are struggling to pay their bills each month and are exhausted from working in busy, understaffed services. Many are leaving the profession because they can’t cope any more – we need a pay rise that reflects the work we do.”

Teresa Budrey, RCN Eastern Regional Director, said: “Years of pay restraint means nursing staff have been left feeling angry and demoralised.

“In an overstretched and underfunded health service they are working flat out, often staying behind after their shift finishes caring for patients because of staff shortages.

“After RCN members led the campaign to scrap the longstanding 1% cap on nursing pay increases, nursing are meeting MPs across the country to explain what a meaningful pay rise would mean to them, their colleagues and the profession as a whole.

“What we are asking for now is a pay award above inflation to begin to make up the money nursing staff has lost over the last decade.

“The UK Government must allow the Pay Review Body (PRB) to act independently in its review and recommendations, and any pay increase should not be linked to NHS staff productivity gains.

“The NHS has been running on the goodwill of its staff for too long. Any expectation of a pay rise linked to productivity gains will further devalue nurses.”


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

Yesterday, 18:25

The chairman of new Brexit Secretary’s North East Cambridgeshire constituency association tonight welcomed his promotion – but in the same interview felt it was time for the prime minister to go.

Yesterday, 17:34

In recent years the pace of Steve Barclay’s acceleration from back bench MP has quickened.

Yesterday, 16:54

NE Cambs MP Steve Barclay is the next Brexit Secretary following the resignation of Dominic Raab who resigned on Tuesday.

Yesterday, 12:25

The cost of building Cambridgeshire County Council’s new headquarters at Alconbury Weald has already increased by 10 per cent without a brick being laid.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Ely Standard weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy