New health secretary’s ‘priority’ must be fair pay and tackling chronic nurse shortage, says RCN

Pay recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) are now around a month overdue and there has been little news from Downing Street on the subject. 

James McKay
28 June 2021
RCN Voice of Nursing

Sajid Javid will replace Matt Hancock as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.

The new Health Secretary’s “immediate priority” should be fair pay and addressing a chronic shortage of nurses, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has said.

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Former Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid was appointed to the role of Secretary of State for Health and Social Care following the much-anticipated resignation of Matt Hancock from the role this weekend.

Mr Javid served as Home Secretary from 2018 to 2019 and Chancellor from 2019 to the start of 2020.

In a statement on social media, Mr Javid said; “Honoured to have been asked to serve as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care at this critical time.

“I look forward to contributing to our fight against the pandemic, and serving my country from the Cabinet once again.

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Immediate priority.

The appointment was approved by the Queen shortly after the announcement.

The RCN has said that fair pay and addressing the chronic shortage of registered nurses must be the new Health Minister’s immediate priority.

Pat Cullen, Acting General Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “Sajid Javid must hit the ground running. With the unrelenting pressure on the nursing workforce, their role in protecting the nation during the pandemic and role delivering the vaccination programme, we expect to meet with urgency.

“Javid’s immediate priority must be tackling the shortage of nursing staff and paying them fairly for their highly-skilled and safety-critical work.”

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Pay recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) are now around a month overdue and there has been little news from Downing Street on the subject.

There has been no recent movement on safe nurse staffing legislation despite ongoing calls from unions.

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