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

Archant

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.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

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

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

15:17

The parents of a 12-year-old girl from Soham who died this year are to lead a 32-strong contingent of family and friends to raise money for the hospice where their daughter spent her last days.

An east Cambs school has broken with tradition by appointing two ‘head’ students for the coming academic year.

Former councillor Andrew Wright has been made an honorary alderman of East Cambridgeshire District Council to recognise his long service and “outstanding achievement”.

09:24

Environment Secretary Michael Gove has launched the government’s first tree health strategy following on from his visit to Ely yesterday.

Most read stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

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