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Hunt "would like to be more generous to nurses"

16 Jun 2017

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has said consideration will be given to lifting the 1% nursing pay cap.

Health Minister Jeremy Hunt

In his speech to the NHS Confederation annual conference, Mr Hunt said that he would discuss the cap with Chancellor Phillip Hammond, who would ultimately make the decision.

The Health Secretary also referred to a “constructive letter” from RCN Chief Executive Janet Davies, saying that we would make sure he met with Ms Davies and reflected that conversation back to the Chancellor.

Mr Hunt outlined a number of other actions the government will take to support NHS staff, who the Health Secretary said were a “central priority” for the government.  These include prioritising the rights of EU nationals to remain in the UK during the Brexit negotiations; introducing more flexible working patterns and improving mental health support from NHS staff. 

In a BBC interview Mr Hunt also said that he would like to be more generous to nurses. However, he warned that the government must work within existing budgets.

The news comes as the College continues its Summer of Protest. Members from across the UK are campaigning to scrap the cap, which has left nursing staff an average £3,000 per year worse off. The College believes the cap has led to a high number of nursing vacancies which pose a risk to patient care.

Mr Hunt also took time to praise nurses for their good will, saying: “I have a great deal of sympathy for the case that nurses amongst others have made on the issue of pay. I think they do an absolutely brilliant job.”