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Majority of healthcare workers unaware of vote on NHS pay

Nearly eighty percent of NHS workers are unaware of the vote and many have chosen not to vote because they find the deal “confusing”.

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A survey has revealed that the majority of healthcare workers in England are unaware of the vote on NHS pay.

A survey completed by NursingNotes has revealed that nearly eighty percent of healthcare workers are unaware of the need to vote on the proposed NHS pay deal and many have chosen not to vote because they find the deal “confusing”.

The pay deal includes significant changes to the agenda for change pay structure which will affect the majority of healthcare workers.

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The survey of 638 healthcare workers in England revealed that 76% of NHS staff are unaware of the need to vote over the proposed NHS pay deal and, shockingly, only 61% of those that are aware have exercised their right to vote.

The deal is difficult to understand

Three-quarters of respondents said they found the deal difficult to understand with 28% of these citing this as the sole reason for not voting.

A massive 91% of respondents said they had received no formal communication from their union over the proposed NHS pay deal.

The question has to be asked if healthcare unions have acted appropriately in seeking the views of its members and setting out the pay deal in a way staff can understand.

Time to vote is running out.

NHS staff who are a member of either the Royal College of Nursing or UNISON have until the 5th of June to voice their opinions over the NHS pay deal.

When we contacted the Royal College of Nursing about the rumoured poor turnout and lack of awareness around the vote a spokesperson said: “Voting is still ongoing and we will announce the result when the poll closes in June.”

The Royal College of Nursing has previously said it would investigate claims of misrepresenting the NHS Pay Deal to its membership.

UNISON did not respond to our request for comment.

About voting…

Can I vote? To be eligible to vote you must be an NHS employee in England and hold an active membership to one of the healthcare unions.

Should I vote? Absolutely, a union is only as powerful as its membership. This is a democratic process that involves you and your future.

How should I vote? We cannot tell you how you should vote, you should weigh up your individual circumstances. You can take a look at the proposed Agenda for Change pay scales or use the pay calculator to find out the effect the rise would have on your salary. But, we encourage you to do your own research.

How to vote: Member can vote on the Royal College of Nursing or Unison sites. If you are a member of a different union you should contact them to find out how to vote. 

How long do I have to vote? Voting closes on Tuesday 5th of June 2018.

Workforce

Nursing vacancies hit record high leaving patient care at risk

It can be “dangerous” when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care.

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Patient Falls Risk with IV

There are now a record 43,671 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone.

NHS figures show that there are now a record 43,671 empty nursing posts in the NHS in England alone, according to the Royal College of Nursing (RCN).

The College says a global shortage of nurses alongside the removal of the nursing bursary has compounded this figure which now sees 12% of posts through the NHS in England without a full-time Registered Nurse.

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Figures from the University and College Admissions Service (UCAS) show a 29% overall decline in applications to undergraduate courses since 2015, when the bursary was cut by the Government.

In a report released today titled ‘Standing up for patient and public safety’, the Royal College of Nursing outlines the evidence of the need for a new law that allocates specific legal responsibilities for workforce planning and supply.

A new law is needed.

The report states that in order to address the record number of vacancies, and the gap between the numbers of health and care staff needed to deliver patient care vs. how many are in the system.

Figures included in the report reveal that the number of nursing staff has consistently failed to keep up with the dramatic rise in demand for services and the number of emergency admissions.

The report finally makes a further call for legal clarity on the roles, responsibilities, as well as accountabilities, for workforce planning and supply.

In September, after pressure from RCN members, NHS England and NHS Improvement asked the Government for clarity over who is accountable for the nursing workforce.

‘Nurses are working harder than ever’.

Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing said: “Nurses are working harder than ever to deliver safe patient care but are being held back by a system that is legally lacking teeth. Despite the public, patients and nurses all agreeing that clarity is needed on responsibilities for delivering enough nurses, we have yet to see any government pledge anything of the like, and as a result are staring down the barrel at a record 43k empty nursing posts.

“We know how dangerous it can be when there aren’t enough nurses to provide care, but at present, almost all accountability rests with the frontline nurse working on the understaffed ward, rather than those responsible for the system they work in.

“We believe the time has come for change and that patient care was future-proofed by law, and that from the government down, decision makers are held to account.

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Workforce

NHS calls for clarity on who is accountable for the nursing workforce

Figures suggest there are around 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies throughout the NHS in England.

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Working nurses in the CCU

Healthcare leaders are calling for legislation to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have called on the Government to clarify who is accountable for the nursing workforce and the chronic problems it’s currently facing.

Following ongoing pressure from nursing unions, the two organisations met today and recommend that the government should “revisit with partners whether national responsibilities and duties in relation to workforce functions are sufficiently clear.”

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With around 40,000 unfilled nursing vacancies in the NHS in England and thousands more throughout social care, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) believes the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care should be legally accountable for the workforce.

Along with other health care leaders, Dame Donna Kinnair, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN, written to the Government calling for the legislation proposed by NHS England and NHS Improvement to be included in the forthcoming Queen’s Speech.

Staff shortages have reached ‘alarming levels’.

Responding to the news, Dame Donna Kinnair said: “We are pleased that NHS England and NHS Improvement has recognised the concerns of RCN members and the public and has stated that the issue of accountability for workforce planning and supply remains an area that needs be resolved.”

“In the week after we have launched a major public facing campaign calling for investment in the nursing workforce as well as for accountability to be clarified in the law, yet again, the case is made for this to be taken seriously.

“We are clear that government is well placed to determine how accountability can be clarified in law.

Adding; “Staff shortages have reached alarming levels with at least 40,000 vacant registered nurse posts in the NHS in England alone with thousands more vacancies in public health and social care.

“We now hope government will listen to this message, as well as the voices of the thousands of members that responded to the NHS England engagement process, and bring forward this legislation, taking the opportunity to include accountability in government and throughout the health and care system, for workforce planning and supply.”

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