NHS staff struggling with workloads and stress, report warns
Published: 22 October 2012
The NHS Staff Side Evidence to the Pay Review Body warns that NHS staff are struggling under the burden of increased workloads and stress, with a third very seriously considering leaving their job.
The report, produced by staff side unions including the Royal College of Nursing, also states that staff are currently being hit with job losses, a two-year pay freeze and budget cuts. Many are now working unpaid overtime to fill the gaps in service provision that Government cuts are causing.
NHS Staff Side wants the review body to recommend raising NHS pay rates to a level that both protects their real value against inflation and begin to redress the cut in earnings that staff have suffered in the last two years. It also wants an additional pay rise for staff earning up to £21,000 in recognition of the additional pressures that inflation has placed on workers at the bottom end of the pay scale.
The trade unions state that while they are strong supporters of the independent review body system and national pay determination, both the Government’s pay policy and their declared support for some form of local pay poses a serious threat to the current system of pay determination in the NHS.
Christina McAnea, Chair of Staff Side, said: “The NHS workforce is committed to providing high quality patient care and contributing to improving service delivery and efficiency savings. Not only does the Government’s policy of pay restraint risk damaging morale and motivation, it also encroaches on the independence of the Pay Review Body itself.”
A joint Staff Side Survey of 34,000 members, undertaken by Incomes Data Services (IDS), found that two thirds stated that morale is worse than a year ago, compared to 55 per cent in 2010. This drop in levels of morale is attributed to increased workplace stress, NHS restructuring, changes to pension entitlements and the falling value of take-home pay.
Christina added: “This evidence shows the strains that Government cuts to the NHS are placing on the workforce and on delivering high quality patient care. We want to see the Pay Review Body make a recommendation that reflects the hard work and commitment of all NHS staff.”
Download the report (PDF 344KB).