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RCN announces ‘independent review’ following claims it ‘misrepresented’ the NHS pay deal



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The Royal College of Nursing has announced an independent review following claims it ‘misrepresented’ the NHS pay deal.

Janet Davies, General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, has announced an “immediate independent external review” which will look at “the governance and process resulting in this situation”.

Thousends of NHS staff took to social media on mass this week to say they feel the union ‘misrepresented’ the deal after staff failed to receive the 3% increase that were promised.  UNISON denies it made any similar claims.


Earlier this week, Ms. Davies, wrote to members to apologise after admitting the union “told all members that they would receive a 3 per cent uplift this summer”, adding “I now find that this is not the case for everyone.”

‘The deal is incredibly complex’.

In the statement, Janet Davies said; ” On Wednesday, I hope you saw my email to apologise for the confusion about your pay this year.

“In the two days since, we have looked again at every detail. By the end of March next year, everybody’s salary will have increased by a minimum of 3% compared to a year earlier.

“However, for those of you receiving increment payments you will not receive that money for the whole year – only from your increment date. Before that, only 1.5% of your total award will be backdated to the start of April.

“The deal is incredibly complex due to a reform of the pay structure being carried out at the same time. It was therefore difficult to give details of what it meant to every one of you individually.

“I have personally gone through all of our messages and our understanding of it. I can only apologise for how we interpreted it and how we suggested to you that a 3% rise would be backdated for everyone.

“Your elected Council met this morning to discuss a way forward and it agreed that an immediate independent external review will look at the governance and process resulting in this situation.

“The RCN values its members and we strive to give you the best service. I cannot stress enough how much we appreciate the work you do and we are sorry that you will feel let down.”

A vote of no confidence.

Earlier today, senior RCN members submitted a petition calling for a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the union’s leadership.

Anthony Johnson, Health Visitor and RCN member, said; “1,200 after 24 hours shows what happens when you give us a chance to be heard. Too often we hear that members have a voice and that they should use it. But we did use it and our union drowned us out with talk of 3% pay rises. We’ve seen this week what a lie that was. It’s time for members to be heard. It’s also time for the leadership to listen. Otherwise, they should join another union.”

Danielle Tiplady, Nurse and RCN Activist, said; “The members have clearly spoken by gathering over 1200 signatures on the petition to request an emergency general meeting and a lack of confidence in the leadership of the RCN in just over 24 hours. Members of unions have felt misled, and the RCN responding so quickly and confirming a meeting will happen is welcomed by all. This will give us the chance to ask questions and hold those to account who represent us.”


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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