The Labour amendment to bring an end to the 1% pay cap on public sector workers was defeated by a majority of 14 votes.
This morning the Labour Party tabled a proposition to end the on-going pay cap on public sector workers during a debate on the Queens Speech. But the vote has been defeated by a majority of just 14 votes.
MPs voted down the motion to end pay cuts and pay restraint for Nurses and other public sector workers by 323 votes to 309 – a majority of just 14 votes.
The vote cam just a day after the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) started their ‘Summer of Protest’.
Last week the RCN alongside 14 other healthcare unions wrote to Theresa May and called upon the Government to commit to the removal of the pay cap and address the real-terms loss of earnings. They warned that failing to do so could lead to industrial action across the board.
A recent poll of RCN members which found 91% would support a form of industrial action following ongoing pay restraint.
Janet Davies, RCN Chief Executive, said: “This is a bitter disappointment for nurses and others in the public sector. At lunchtime, there were signs the Government was listening to our calls, but by the evening they voted to keep the pay cap in place. Our members’ Summer of Protest will continue.
“But we also know that a growing number on the Government’s own benches agree the cap should be scrapped. We will continue to build cross-party support this summer. If the Prime Minister intends to address pay in an autumn Budget, she should do so without delay.
“The pay cap stands in the way of filling the 40,000 vacant nurse posts in England. When NHS and care services are short of safe staffing, patients pay a heavy price.
“It is welcome that the Government has said it will listen to the Pay Review Body’s evidence but they must also act on it. The RCN will play its part in showing ministers how they can address the real-terms loss of earnings – worth £3,000 a year – since 2010.”
Labour calls for £500m emergency ‘winter bailout fund’ for NHS
Labour will call for the government to commit a £500m “winter bailout fund” for the NHS over the coming months.
Jonathan Ashworth, the Shadow Health Secretary, says the money is needed to increase capacity in struggling hospitals and pay for extra staff as the NHS faces the worst winter on record.
He also said it was Labour’s “ambition” to return NHS funding increases to the same level as during the 1997-2010 Labour governments.
Mr Ashworth claims that Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, and Theresa May have failed to provide an adequate plan to how the NHS is preparing, for what is expected to be, the worst winter on record for the health and social care service.
Janet Davies, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the RCN, said:
“Any bailout money this winter should be used to bolster frontline staff and help ensure safe patient care. Having the right number of nurses is key to treating people effectively and safely.
“Yet too many hospitals are chronically short of nursing staff. As demand increases over the winter months, it’s patients who will pay the price unless something is done.
“Properly funding the NHS is a political choice – it should not reach the stage where a last-minute bailout is required to keep people safe.”
The Shadow Health Secretary will use a speech to the Labour party conference today to call for the extra funding.
£13 million funding to help hospital A&Es prepare for winter
The Department of Health has announced 19 hospitals in England will benefit from extra funding for emergency care over winter.
Following a plea for funding from NHS Providers, the association that represents healthcare trusts, the Department of Health (DoH) has announced it will provide additional funding to nineteen NHS hospitals in England.
The 19 hospitals across England will be given a cash injection of over £13 million for emergency care, in the latest wave of winter funding announced today by Health Minister Philip Dunne.
Around £13 million has been awarded to improve patient flow through A&E, ensuring departments are prepared for busy times during winter. The additional funding brings the total given to hospitals since April to over £90 million, part of the dedicated funding announced in the Spring Budget.
Minister of State for Health Philip Dunne said:
“Thanks to the hard work and dedication of staff, the NHS has put in place strong plans ahead of winter – ensuring patients continue to receive safe and efficient care as demand rises over the coming months.
This funding will give more hospitals the boost they need to streamline patient flow in A&E, freeing up A&Es to care for the sickest patients and helping make sure all patients get the right treatment in the right place as quickly as possible”.
The funding will be used to help hospitals finalise preparations ahead of winter, particularly to handle the large volumes of patients attending A&E. By investing in the necessary equipment or infrastructure, hospitals will be able to target improvements to patient flow and relieve pressure on A&E.
The funding supports NHS England’s wider plans to improve A&E performance in England by 2018. In particular, it will help hospitals hit the target of admitting, transferring or discharging 95% of patients within 4 hours.
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