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NHS Employers claim the RCN wrongfully told staff they would receive a 3% pay rise

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RCN Voice of Nursing
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NHS Employers claims the RCN has made an “error” and denies offering a 3% pay rise.

NHS Employers has said the Royal College of Nursing made an “error” in telling it’s members they would receive a 3 percent pay rise this summer, adding the framework agreement provided to unions did not contain this promise.

Guidance provided for RCN reps last week confirms that the union was aware of the correct information but failed to highlight it to its members during the consultation. The document states; “The initial increase for most other staff will typically be 1.5% until they reach their normal incremental pay date.” 

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Apologies have been made.

The head of the Royal College of Nursing issued a formal apology to its members yesterday over the error but it has meet met with hostility on social media.

Following a consultation period, the NHS pay deal was ‘overwhelming’ accepted by staff in June but members are calling into question the validity of the consultation after they made a decision on false information.

The pay blunder will affect one million NHS staff in England.

‘The RCN has made an error’.

Danny Mortimer, Chief Executive of NHS Employers, said: “The letter states that the RCN has in error told members in one of its documents that they would all receive “a 3 per cent uplift this summer”.

“The framework agreement, which is the document agreed by the NHS Staff Council that the RCN consulted its members on, does not make this claim.

“This miscommunication is very unfortunate and clearly the RCN will need to review all of its communications to understand the extent of its error.

“We hope that this issue between the RCN and its membership can be resolved quickly, and we would direct colleagues towards the information on our website which makes clear the pay journeys for different staff over the next three years.”

However, NHS Employer did not take any known steps to rectify the misinformation.

Senior members of the Royal College of Nursing are trying to hold the union to account over claims it ‘misrepresented’ the NHS pay deal by calling for a vote of no confidence in the organisation’s leadership.

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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