RCN admits to making mistakes over NHS pay deal

The union has apologised and pledged to make ‘lasting changes’ to build a ‘closer connection’ with its members.

31 August 2018
RCN Voice of Nursing

The Royal College of Nursing has admitted to making mistakes during the consultation over NHS pay.

In a letter to its members today, the Royal College of Nursing had admitted that the communication surrounding the pay deal fell short of the standards it’s members expect and has pledged to make lasting changes.


During the consultation over NHS pay, the RCN told all its members that they would receive a minimum of a 3% uplift in July – it has come to light that this statement was incorrect.

The handling of the NHS pay deal is now subject to an independent external review.

Janet Davies has since resigned from her post as Chief Executive and General Secretary but calls have been made for wider change within the organisation as a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the union’s leadership is due to be debated at an extraordinary general meeting next month.

‘We told all members they would receive a 3% uplift’.

Earlier last month, Janet Davies, the outgoing Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing wrote to members apologising for the errors it made.


In a statement, Janet Davies said; “I wanted to write to you myself over the recent NHS pay deal. It has come to my attention in the last 24 hours that the deal was not as straightforward as we said and for that I offer you a sincere personal apology.

“I’m as dismayed and angry as you are and will fight the corner of members at every turn. In good faith, we told all members that they would receive a 3 per cent uplift this summer. I now find that this is not the case for everyone.

“I can assure you that I am demanding answers for you. In the meantime, I can only apologise for this unnecessary confusion and assure you that I am determined to resolve it. Your elected Council and Trade Union Committee will be meeting in the next few days and I will update you on next steps.”

‘Big changes at the RCN’.

Dame Donna Kinnair, Acting Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said; “As you may already be aware, there has been a change to the leadership team at the Royal College of Nursing, with Janet Davies, our Chief Executive stepping down.


“The RCN has begun an independent external review into the communication of the 2018 NHS pay deal to its membership, and an EGM is being held on 28 September in Birmingham for members to discuss the findings of the review. We will be publishing the review in full ahead of the meeting, as well as committing to implement its recommendations.

“Whatever the conclusions of the review, we already know that the RCN’s processes around the pay deal and its communication were not up to the standards that you the membership should expect. 

“The review period has also allowed us to take a broader look at the College’s structures and activities. Whilst I know there are many things that the College does well, I think there is much that could be improved – in particular around engaging with and listening to our members.

“In the next few weeks, we will be announcing some substantive and lasting changes to better connect the College with its members, and to make sure that we are working with you to deliver the services that you want and find most useful. 

“We are here to serve you – and in order to do that to our best ability, I think we need to listen better than we have been. This change begins now, and I assure you we are listening.”


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