Nursing workforce morale at all-time low

Published: 04 April 2014

Following the Government’s recent decision on NHS staff pay, which has shocked and angered nursing staff across the UK, the RCN has written to MPs across the political spectrum asking them to support its efforts in contesting the decision. Last month, the independent NHS Pay Review Body recommended a 1 per cent cost of living increase for all staff on Agenda for Change contracts.

Despite previously saying that the increase was affordable, the Government is now refusing to implement it for all staff in the way that the Pay Review Body intended. 

In the letter to MPs, Chief Executive & General Secretary of the RCN Dr Peter Carter points out that contrary to what the Government is claiming, 60 per cent of nurses will receive no cost of living pay rise whatsoever.

Nursing staff feeling attacked or punished

In the letter, Dr Carter warns MPs: “The morale of the nursing workforce is at an all-time low. They feel they are being personally attacked or punished and many are viewing this refusal by the Government as the final straw and may leave the profession.

“We can ill-afford a further exodus, given the widely-accepted workforce issues already facing the NHS and the difficulties trusts all across the UK are having in recruiting nurses to vacant posts.

“Failing to award a modest 1 per cent cost of living increase to the workforce that has carried the NHS throughout huge reorganisation and large scale workforce cuts will prove to be short-sighted and damaging to the NHS in the long run.”

The letter also urges MPs to press the Secretary of State on the issue. Find out how the RCN is fighting for fair pay for nursing staff.