Low pay is ‘rarely mentioned’ by NHS staff, claims health minister

A recent independent report by the London Economic showed that some nurses are as much as 32% worse off now than they were a decade ago. 

James McKay
25 March 2021
Helen Whately

The MP claimed that NHS staff would prefer more staff, time off, and to feel valued.

Low pay is “rarely mention” by nurses and other NHS workers, claims a Government health minister.

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Health and Care Minister Helen Whately told MPs during a debate on NHS pay yesterday morning that increased pay is not what “staff most want” but instead more staff, time off, and to feel valued and supported.

A recent independent report by the London Economic showed that some nurses are as much as 32% worse off now than they were a decade ago. 

Health unions have been calling upon the Government to give NHS workers an immediate restorative rise of between 12.5% and 15%.

Earlier this year the Government told the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) that a 1% pay rise for NHS workers was all it could afford.

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Ms. Whately’s comments came just hours before the Scottish Government announced a 4% pay rise for all NHS workers on top of a previous £500 bonus for their efforts during the pandemic.

What staff really want.

“I have had many conversations with NHS staff, from porters, healthcare assistants, nurses, allied healthcare professionals, junior doctors, and consultants both during the pandemic and many years before,” Ms. Whately told MPs.

“I have asked many times what would help, what do staff most want. I will say from those conversations that pay is rarely mentioned.”

Ms. Whately continued by explaining to MPs what NHS really want;  “The thing that is most often mentioned to me is staff want more colleagues.”

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“They want more staff working alongside them so they can have more time to care and to give patients the care they want to provide.”

“And most recently staff have told me how much they want to be able to take time off, to have some time to spend with their families, some time to recover and recuperate from the stresses and strains from the pandemic.”

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