Home Health news Unions warn of more NHS strikes amid fears ministers will impose a ‘real-terms pay cut

Unions warn of more NHS strikes amid fears ministers will impose a ‘real-terms pay cut

by Martyn Jones
0 comment
Unions warn of more NHS strikes amid fears ministers will impose a ‘real-terms pay cut

Health unions have reacted angrily to the prospect that the Government could seek to impose another below-inflation pay rise on NHS staff next year. 

The Guardian reported that unions and the NHS Confederation fear Health Secretary Steve Barclay will seek to limit next year’s rise for staff other than doctors and dentists to just 2%. 

Although Mr Barclay did not set out a figure when he wrote to the pay review body last month, they believe that because the NHS budget for 2023-24 has been set, that is the amount he wants. 

The paper said with a potential further 1% contingency, that could add up to 3% – although it would still be likely to provoke further unrest within the service. 

The unions are already embroiled in a bitter dispute over this year’s award, which has seen walkouts by nurses and ambulance staff with more due this month.

Unions and the NHS Confederation fear Health Secretary Steve Barclay (pictured) will seek to limit next year’s rise for staff other than doctors and dentists to just 2%

The unions are already embroiled in a bitter dispute over this year's award, which has seen walkouts by nurses and ambulance staff with more due this month.

The unions are already embroiled in a bitter dispute over this year’s award, which has seen walkouts by nurses and ambulance staff with more due this month.

Pat Cullen, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), warned against another real-terms cutting, saying ministers should concentrate on resolving this year’s claim.

‘Our dispute is about the NHS pay award for 2022-23, and we are deciding how to engage in discussions about the 2023-24 award,’ she told the Guardian. 

‘Ministers need to resolve our dispute with them over this year’s award before they move on to next year’s. 

‘Inflicting a decade of real-terms pay cut misery on nursing should be more than enough without considering going down that road again next year.’ 

A GMB union official told the paper: ‘The Department (of Health and Social Care) has already sent its remit to the pay review body for next year and budgeted for a 2.1% pay increase. 

‘This is about a third of forecast inflation in 2023. The fundamental issue in the dispute is that NHS pay settlements have continuously been too low.’ 

Pat Cullen, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), warned against another real-terms cutting, saying ministers should concentrate on resolving this year's claim

Pat Cullen, the general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), warned against another real-terms cutting, saying ministers should concentrate on resolving this year’s claim

In response, a Department of Health and Social Care spokesman said: ‘The Government hugely values and appreciates NHS staff and we have committed to give NHS workers a pay rise, asking the independent pay review bodies for recommendations on pay for staff in scope. 

‘This follows the acceptance of last year’s recommendations in full which saw the lowest earners in the NHS receive a 9.3% pay rise. 

‘We will consider the independent pay review bodies reports carefully when we receive them. The Government has not yet set out the position on affordability for 2023/24.’

The scale of the exceptional New Year challenges facing Rishi Sunak was laid bare tonight.

The first was the devastating revelation from the nation’s top A&E doctor that up to 500 patients are dying each week because of delays in casualty units.

In a second blow, official figures revealed that a record 45,756 migrants crossed the Channel last year despite huge efforts by ministers to try to stop the people-smuggling trade.

And, finally, trade unions are preparing to bring the railways to a standstill again this week ahead of fresh walkouts by nurses and ambulance staff in a worsening winter of discontent.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admitted in his stark New Year message that 2022 had been ¿tough¿ because of the cost of living crisis, adding: ¿Yes, 2023 will have its challenges, but the Government I lead is putting your priorities first.¿

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak admitted in his stark New Year message that 2022 had been ‘tough’ because of the cost of living crisis, adding: ‘Yes, 2023 will have its challenges, but the Government I lead is putting your priorities first.’

Mr Sunak¿s first task will be to get the NHS through its winter crisis (Pictured: Ambulance workers gather outside Kenton Ambulance Station during a strike over pay and conditions)

Mr Sunak’s first task will be to get the NHS through its winter crisis (Pictured: Ambulance workers gather outside Kenton Ambulance Station during a strike over pay and conditions)

Mr Sunak admitted in his stark New Year message that 2022 had been ‘tough’ because of the cost of living crisis.

However he insisted: ‘Yes, 2023 will have its challenges, but the Government I lead is putting your priorities first.’ In other developments: 

  • One in six people has had to become a ‘DIY doctor’ after failing to get a face-to-face GP appointment, shocking figures suggest today; 
  • Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine, said the Government should declare a national NHS major incident to rescue the healthcare system from crisis;
  • Rail workers embarking on the latest strike over pay this week have taken home more than £150million in taxpayer-funded bonuses in recent years;
  • It is feared the PM’s plan for ‘tough new laws’ to crack down on strikes will not take place for at least six months.

Yesterday, it was revealed an A&E patient was forced to wait for ’99 hours’ before receiving a bed last week and parents have told how their ailing children were forced to sleep on chairs as the NHS faces a worsening crisis this winter.

Some patients were forced to lie on the floor in the busy A&E due to a lack of beds

Some patients were forced to lie on the floor in the busy A&E due to a lack of beds

A huge queue of ambulances is seen outside Aintree hospital as patients wait for beds due to mass overcrowding

A huge queue of ambulances is seen outside Aintree hospital as patients wait for beds due to mass overcrowding

The unnamed patient was brought to Swindon’s Great Western Hospital by ambulance last week but was left waiting on a gurney for four days while staff urgently tried to source an available bed.

One clinician at Great Western Hospital told the Sunday Times: ‘We’re broken and nobody is listening,’ while Jon Westbrook, the hospital’s chief medical officer, wrote in a leaked email to staff: ‘We are seeing case numbers and [sickness] that we have not seen previously in our clinical careers.’

Meanwhile in Oxford at the children’s A&E department of John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, a three-year-old girl was seen curled up on a plastic chair trying to sleep after waiting for hours to be treated.

The girl’s father Tom Hook shared the image on social media and wrote: ‘Exhausted, dehydrated and fighting multiple illnesses, this is the best the NHS could do, five hours after arriving at A&E and 22 hours after we phoned for help.

‘The staff throughout were fantastic and clearly doing a nearly impossible job in a broken system that just channels everything to A&E — which then can’t cope with the demand.’

MailOnline has contacted Great Western hospital for comment. 

Source link

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

©2022 – All Right Reserved. Designed by Martyn.

Verified by MonsterInsights