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Nurses pay increases, but less than NHS managers

Nurses have seen their average basic pay increase by just 0.7% while NHS managers have seen their pay rocket by 2%.

Nurses, midwives and health visitors saw their average basic pay rise to £30,481 in the 12 months to September.

This is the equivalent of a £216 cash rise but smaller than the £638 cash rise, or 2.2% rise between 2010 and 2011.

Midwives saw average pay dip by £12 to £32,326.

The largest percentage increase between 2011 and 2012 was among school nurses, who saw a 1.2% or £391 rise in basic pay to £32,232.

Senior managers working in the NHS enjoyed the largest increase in pay of any hospital workers with a rise of 2%, or £1,459 to £74,654.

Overall basic pay increased, as an average, for all full time equivalent NHS staff by 1.3 per cent in the 12 months to September 2012 to £29,316, a rise of £379 compared to the same period in 2011.

Although the average basic pay increased, the rise was smaller than that seen between 2010 and 2011 when pay jumped 2.6 per cent or an average of £722.

The increases in pay shows the effect of incremental pay progression in the NHS which has seen pay bills go up despite two years of a Government pay freeze.

Workers on less than £21,000 have also received £250 increases in each of the past two years further driving up costs for NHS providers.

For hospital doctors, including consultants and registrars, average basic pay increased by 1.4 per cent to £58,456.

Scientific, therapeutic and technical staff saw basic pay rise 0.4 per cent to £34,354 while clinical support staff saw their basic pay increase 1.6 per cent to £18,351.

Average pay for ambulance staff saw a 0.6 per cent rise to £26,446.

The pay estimates have been made using the Electronic Staff Record system and for the first time uses 12 months of data to improve accuracy.

Tim Straughan, chief executive of the NHS Information Centre said: “As the NHS employs more than a million people in England, its composition is obviously of great interest to the health service and public alike.

“Today’s figures are intended to provide new insight into the average earnings of this workforce, which of course contains a complex mix of differing grades of experience and working patterns,” he added.

“Although they are experimental, the figures do point to a small increase in average basic pay for most staff groups between 2011 and 2012.”

Readers' comments (21)

  • This will be published in the papers and is very misleading. I am a nurse, I do not earn "the average" of 30,481 - I have been qualified 20 years and am top of my band 5. I have not received a pay rise or any incremental pay which many nurses like myself no longer qualify for.

    People reading that nurses earn an average of 30,481 will tell us to stop moaning. Nurses in London can earn more because of cost-of-living allowances but nurses in the rest of the country do not.

    Why have NHS managers awarded themselves 2%?

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  • managers award themselves 2% pay rise

    yep that will be right...i know to save money lets get rid of frontline staff...then erm erm..bring in some consultants at say 3 million pounds to say sack more staff

    then erm erm oh I know award myself a 2% pay rise on top of my already over inflated salary

    could not run a bath never mind a hospital the lot of them

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  • michael stone

    Even if managers are having to 'work 50% harder' to try and achieve these cost savings, and even if nurses are only having to work '10% harder because of less staff', this seems wrong in terms of 'we are all in it (the squeeze) together: managers should not be getting greater increases than nurses in percentage terms, especially if managers are already being paid more.

    the logic might not be with me, but my 'gut instinct' is what I'm going on.

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  • I suspect most managers have seen little in the way of pay rise. The CEO have seen greater increases in their renumeration which will give the average rise of 2% of that group.

    With the number of Trusts in the red, about to be pushed into special measures etc etc I can'y help but wonder if we have a repeat of the culture that existed in banking where failure is being rewarded.

    As nurses, if we 'perform' our 'reward' is that we get to stay on the register and come in again tomorrow and do it all over again!

    Like many, I have been on top of the scale for years and have therefore seen a real terms cut in the last 3 years of about 12%

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  • So, if you cut staff then the ones you tend to lose are those that haven't been around for long and are bottom of scale. The ones left as numbers of staff are decreased are those that have been in the NHS for much longer and are at the top of the scale. The effect of this? Average pay goes up!!!!

    You can say whatever you want with numbers.

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  • All this is very misleading for the general public.
    Registered nurses salaries have been frozen - only those not at the top of their scales have seen an incremental increase. In real terms those of us at the top of the scale and have been there for many years (and can't move on due to reductions in more senior posts) have seen our disposable income drop due to the effects of inflation and not to mention the NMC fee rises.
    Very disappointed at these headlines both in the Nursing Times and the Health Service Journal.
    Lets see what happens when the general press get hold of this information and put it in the public domain.

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  • Well said, everyone.

    Regarding the Press misleading the public: excellent point. As many of us as possible need to write to/email the newspapers when such a misleading article appears; sooner or later letters from us are likely to be published.

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  • I share over peoples concern that this will be misunderstood by the general public when it is widely publicised. However, you cannot then use the same information as a club to hit people in management with. If we find that it misrepresents our actual situation, chances are that they do too. Virtually all of the senior staff in my Trust are from clinical backgrounds and have managed to progressed through the ranks to a position that I myself wouldnt mind achieving one day. I just dont understand why we have to attack others for getting something rather than stand up and fight for an improve future for us all. A lot of us are long-serving NHS employees and have sat at the top of our paybands (and there are some that begrudge us for being there just based on time spent here rather than because of achievement) and have suffered paycuts over the past couple of years because of the freeze. My wife and I are both nurses so know what that feels like on a regular basis.

    Stop all the in-fighting and turn that energy towards changing things that we can influence. Lobby your MPs, support your unions, if industrial action is agreed support it and dont rely that "someone else" will do it because they wont.

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  • I wish I got 30,000 a year. I am at the top of my band 5 with no more increments and I have worked for 35 years.This is very misleading and Will change the public's empathy towards us.

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  • '...rocket by 2%', maybe its all relative, if all these % figures were above inflation then maybe we'd be a little happier. How much has RPI or even the lesser CPI gone up cumulatively over the years?

    Feels like government doesn't value life-savers and care-givers in monetary terms, expect it to be done on the cheap. This lack of value transfers to the rest of society, expecting high quality care delivered 24/7 by cutting frontline resources, and everyone complains when quality is substandard.

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  • The problem is referring to "average", what should be shown are the 10th centile, 50th centile(median) and the 90th centile. This will show the real distribution of salaries for all bands. The problem with the 'average' is that it is biased towards the higher end, whereas the median shows the true picture. If the distribution is Gaussian or normal, then the average or mean is the same as the median, but our salaries do not follow a normal distribution.

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  • What has not been taken into account here is that pension contributions are also rising significantly and will do again next year. Some groups will be paying 13.3% of salary to their pension compared to 5% at the lower end. This does not buy additional benefits at the higher end and thus is really just an additional tax for public sector workers. The increase in contributions starts at just £15,279 and is graduated, details at Suddenly even the managers 2% rise is an actual cut in take home, even before inflation is taken into account. No wonder NHS staff are stressed and struggling to demonstrate compassion to the media! A limited number of abuse cases occur which are unacceptable, but the vast majority of NHS staff are delivering far higher productivity for far less reward. Nurses do not get bonuses like bankers, just for doing their job (whether to an exemplary standard/improved productivity or not).
    It is unlikely that huge cost savings AND quality improvements can be delivered in the NHS or any other organisation. We have seen in the railways that cost cutting on service = safety compromises and decreases in customer satisfaction.

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  • Management are hardly likely to vote themselves a rise less than that of the staff who do the work that the NHS was intended to provide.

    That is delivering treatment, care and support to those who are unwell and their loved ones.

    The service has been developed into a accountant led business run by Government appointed CEOs and management teams whose wage bill and bonuses would probably fund the opening of two fully operational wards in each hospital.

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  • wonder what the good old papers will have to say about this - outrage, furious, their usual stance on anything to do with nurses. They will say nurses earn 30k a year regardless of whether it's true or not.

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  • So the average RN salary is £30.000? I wish. They must be including a lot of unsocial hours pay in that figure, and only thinking of those at the top of band 5 or on band 6 surely?

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  • i think this is very mis leading. do they mean 'managers' as in the board or managers on 8a and above. if they do then i'm an 8a, have been for 9 years and have not had an increment or pay rise for at least three years. i work from 7am til 6pm just to get my job done. i don't get unsocial/additional pay and get £38 a month, before tax, for being on call. its not just 'frontline' staff being abused.

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  • looking forward to the predictable headlines, thanks NT.

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  • michael stone

    As I've said before, it seems (from the comments here) not really to be a case of nurses, managers or anyone else being 'at the sharp end' - it is much more as if everyone is sitting very carefully on some part of a giant hedgehog (I will admit, everyone tends to be fighting liek crazy to get to sit on the nose of the creature !).

    And yes, press reports are very often misleading.

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  • Once upon a time.... there used to be a 'free' National Health
    Service. A, post war, Institution built on an intuitive welshman's notion, which, would be, free at the point of contact, and designed to offer a healthcare provision to all, no matter how wealthy or poor you were.

    The Medical and nursing staff were employed to meet the needs of the nation, and in spite of being paid a modest wage in those days, they were grateful for a job and regular income; they provided an excellent service to all who entered their hospitals, Gp surgeries, and clinics.

    The health of the nation improved dramatically: physically; surgically; educationally,and I would suggest, psychologically too.
    In fact, it became a 'model of excellence', a point where other nations wanted to have a helping of it, 'free' of course.

    However, having received extremely low wages compared to the rest of the population the nurses union, namely COSHE, endeavoured to pressure the health secretary of state to increase their pay.

    However, the government of the day, reckoned they didn't have the cash to increase NHS personell staff pay and refused to give them an adequate pay rise. Subsequently, the Unionists suggested 'industrial action' must be used to get politicians to acknowledge the true value of nurses. But, the nurses refused to take any action, and the unionists had to back down.

    The government won, and nurses pay fell even further and further behind compared to other 'hands on employees. (I know, because I was a charge nurse, at the time, and my daughter was entitled to free school meals, based on my low income.)

    Unfortunately, as you couldn't be bothered to take up the cause
    and protect your jobs and earnings, don't expect anyone to stand up for you now.
    On the whole, the expectations of nurses and their nursing skills today has progressed beyond recognition, but NHS staff, these days stil are unmotivated to do their jobs thoroughly anymore, and the nations health is, as we frequently see these days, is deteriorating with the poor quality you give:-

    .. bed(pressure) sores, dehydration,various infection attained through hospitalisation, to name a couple!

    Undoubtedly, your attitude and apathy has supported the government's desire to make your institution a with each other, simply in order to keep your low paid jobs.

    Alas, moaning, and expecting 'sympathy from the public wont help you anymore. It's more than likely ou may also have to work well into your late sixties before you can even consider taking retirement. Therefore, be grateful for whatever you earn and get on with the job, there's good nurses.

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  • *NB, please read...
    "....Undoubtedly, your attitude and apathy has supported the government's desire to make your institution a with each other, simply in order to keep your low paid jobs."
    sorry for the error.

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