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Public Sector set to Endure Further Pay Restraint until 2019



Millions of public sector workers are set to endure further pay restraint as todays budget confirms the 1% pay cap is extended to 2019.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has today presented the 2017 Spring Budget and confirmed that public sector employees will suffer ongoing pay restraint with only a 1% increase on basic pay and an extension of the cap to 2019.

We’re the party of the NHS“, declares Phillip Hammond.


It should be noted that the NHS Pay Review Body is yet to finalise any recommendations for healthcare staff. It is however expected that it will fall in line with other public sector employees and enforce the 1% cap.

Michael Brown, RCN Chair of Council, said; “Today, the Chancellor missed the opportunity to scrap the cap on nursing pay and show this government values NHS staff. In over an hour at the despatch box, the Chancellor failed to mention public sector pay, or the steps his government will take to make up for years of hardship faced by nursing staff, like you”.

“If nothing is done, more staff will leave, piling the pressure on an already overstretched workforce. Ultimately, it’s patient care that suffers. We await an announcement on your pay in the coming weeks. Before then, we must continue to highlight the absurdity of the pay cap, and the damage this is causing to both staff and patients.”

He went to explain that Nurses are seeing a “real-world pay cut” with salaries plummeting by more than 14% in real term. You can use their pay calculator to find out your individual figure. 

Public sector workers alongside NHS staff have suffered 9 years of pay restraint with pay falling dramatically short of the increased cost of living and inflation.

What else was announced in the Budget 2017?

The 2017 Budget also announced an extra £325m for the controversial sustainability and transformation plans (STPs) plus an extra £100 million to enhance emergency care, significantly less funding than what is required, and £2bn of additional grant funding for social care over the next three years, with £1bn available in 2017-18.

An increase in the personal tax-free allowance for 2017 to 2018 to £11,500.

MPs have been awarded a further 1.4% cent salary boost, which will see MPs pay rise from £74,962 to £76,011. Which is well above the 1 per cent cap imposed on public sector workers until 2019.

You can view a full breakdown the budget by The Telegraph.



Nursing vacancies hit record high leaving patient care at risk

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



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.


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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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.



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.”


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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