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Lansley: NHS pay cannot be exempt from financial pressures


The new health secretary has suggested the coalition government will seek to review the Agenda for Change pay deal, after saying NHS staff pay should not be exempt from wider financial pressures.

In an interview on BBC Radio Four’s Today programme Andrew Lansley promised there would be real terms NHS budget increases but warned the NHS might face greater efficiency savings than planned and that pay would not be protected.

He said: “We need to change: so many people across NHS I’ve talked to understand this, and they actually say ‘we can’t go on like this’. There may have been in Agenda For Change a need for one-off increases in pay and comparability in the NHS, but that has happened.

“There is not now a basis upon which people in the NHS can expect that it is exempted from the kind of broader pressures,” he added.

He said the rate of inflation in the NHS had sometimes run at three times that of the private sector and that this was “not sustainable”.

He said: “People across the NHS know that after a decade in which there has been a decline in productivity and a rise in inflation in the NHS, then the time has come for them to achieve efficiency savings.

Mr Lansley said the planned efficiency savings of around 3 per cent a year needed to achieve £20bn of savings over the next three years would still need to happen. He added: “We may need to do more, because of increases in demand. ”

RCN chief executive and general secretary Dr Peter Carter said: “The RCN welcomes the commitment given by the health secretary to increase NHS funding in real terms over the coming years.

“Demand for health services is only going to grow and we need a properly resourced NHS to deliver safe and high quality care. We do also acknowledge that there will be tough times ahead for the NHS and we all have a part to play in ensuring we get value for money for our health spending.

“Nurses wish to work with the government to deliver fresh thinking on how savings can be made while protecting patient care,” said Dr Carter.


Readers' comments (40)

  • Eh, here we go... Blame the politics... Get at each other's throats... The politicians, whichever they are, are NEVER going to listen to us (bedpans). The deals they are going to make are with our managerial fat cats on big salaries. So? We can not strike, we are caring people and can not let our patients down. For the last half a year we have been working hard - 6 colleagues have left and not been replaced - recruitment freeze - so we took their workload too. Breaks? What is that? Not for us! True, as in a previous article - we have to work harder and for less money!
    As for the previous entries - ward band 7s ARE working hard, but there are so many other band 7s - you know who I mean - working in a relaxed atmosphere - office - 8.30 to 5pm (but disappearing well before it), having all their breaks and refreshments and all.
    And the other entry - money wasting - could not agree more! If our managers want to save money, they need to review all those contracts with ridiculous prices! Everything can be bought out there for a fraction of the catalogue's price!
    Is there a light in the tunel?

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  • i agree with the above iam a band 5 and struggling to make ends meet.....can not train to get a band 6 as i would have to take a paycut of 3000 a year to do the training as well as find money for petrol to cover a 40mile round trip so i will be losing about 550 a mth?????......where i work there are band 7 posts which were not around when i first started 10years ago and now there are 6 of these posts in just my area and can not see why they are there....they just do what they normally do but had a name change.....i agree there is way too many band 7 and above we never had them years ago and managed why do we have them now????......6 for one area????.......also why dont we charge people from other countries for health care...look how much money would be generated....we have to have health insurance to travel to their country and have to pay for health so why cant they pay too over here??......would solve alot of money problems .......this sort of thing scares me as i would be going bankrupt if pay is cut as haaving trouble paying for bills and mortgage as it is.....but then i didnt vote them in as i knew we would be targets

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  • There ye go,five minuites they're in ..give us yer paltry salary,i've got a secretary to pay for! Five minuites an the tories are back to reap vengeance!

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  • Decline in productivity!!!!!! Need to get yourself down to my Unit, Lansley. We are seeing three times the amount of patients we saw 10 years ago, (with fewer staff). Start hitting the salaries of frontline staff, your cobbled together, power-grabbing Con-dem coalition won't last long Cameron.

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  • Steve Williams

    Oh I do love this old stuff.

    Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it...

    Thirty years ago...

    Maggie, Maggie, Maggie - OUT, OUT, OUT we all chanted, on a CoSHE organised march, down Roehampton Lane from Queen Mary's Hospital to Barnes Hospital.

    Why did we do that? Well (back in the day) the Tories were opening up a hospital that they had previously closed (against much local protest) only two years earlier and touting/spinning it as their ongoing commitment to the NHS.

    They - the Conservatives - sent down the Health Minister (at that time) to cut the ribbon on this deeply dubious debacle... We went down there to point out this non-deniable duality.

    The Health Minister's name? Funny eh? KENNETH CLARKE!

    Who's a member of the ruling UK government now? Go figga!

    Nurses are their own worst enemy.

    As you vote, so shall ye reap.,+shame+on+you%3B+fool+me+twice,+shame+on+me.html

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  • Steve Williams

    Whoops, just noticed a slight typo there...

    The rant should have read "CoHSE" the Confederation of Health Service Employees - which I later understand merged with "NUPE" the National Union for Public Employees to form UNISON that stands for something or other, I really don't care (ooooh am I being so polite and PC aware there... sorry!)

    Perhaps my old memory is failing me - NOT!

    One thing that I AM sure about is that the RCN didn't back the march back then - or the wage claim that was going on at the time, they told us to be patient and just look after patients... does this sound somewhat familiar?

    RCN = Rectally Conservative Noobs

    RCN = Really Concerned Nobodys

    RCN = Retarded Controlled Nurses

    Now I see we have a "Doctor" in charge of the Royal College of "Nurses"....

    What's that all about?


    And before anyone gets upset... WTFUCK? means...

    White Tories Following Unexplained Conservative Knowledge

    ...and if you truly know anything about the history of nursing in the UK then you will know what I mean. As we say in North America... "You are being 'boned up the ass' - and saying Thank You for the experience!"

    Yup, I'm an old donkey. Not that one from SHREK though. I'm the one from George Orwell's "Animal Farm"... Benjamin, the one that runs down the hill, screaming and shouting - because he can read - while Boxer is being loaded into the slaughter van whilst his colleagues wildly applaud his "supposed" promotion and transportation to a retirement home?

    Bahhhhh..... Nurses (even trained ones) are so under-educated. If you have never heard of "Animal Farm" or even George Orwell (ever heard of a guy called Billy Shakespeare) then I suggest you go here and see how you (the sheep, chickens and ducks) are being led through the nose, beak and bill by your RCN bosses.

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  • oh no... the fighting between ourselves begins alreadyas it usually does. will we ever pull together and be the strong voice that we could be!!!!! lets work together as we are always told.......what's the one thing that we are supposed to be good work!
    all the talk about not needing band 7's..are we not selling ourselves short...why shouldn't there be progression in a nurses career...are we then saying that we are happy be get to band 6 and that's where we stay!!!!! and only get higher bands if we go the managerial way rather than do what we do best and continue with our clinical roles!
    lets just stick together, strive for a better NHS which includes good working conditions ie breaks and flexibility, and continue to expect better pay (who else is going to care for the nation!!!!!)

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  • A lot of us nurses feel the same we are being walked all over while the management takes the credit and a pay rise but we should not forget that at the end its the patient that we work for. That does not mean we have to take all that lying down.

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  • Phil Dup

    Considering the NHS saves MILLIONS of pounds yearly from all the unpaid hours worked by frontline staff in missed breaks / staying behind to help out etc then its a bit dishonourable to freeze our pay under the rate of inflation. I worked out roughly how many unpaid hours I have worked for the NHS in my time Nursing and I am owed literally thousands of pounds..... if we all work to rule and leave the managers to take up the slack then we will soon have the powers that be treating us less disgracefully.

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  • Yes Phil, I agree with you on that point, but how many of us have tried to 'walk away' in the past?

    I think we need to be more boundaried in our contractual obligations to our employing authorities. This would make managers & directiors sit up and take notice.

    But as mentioned before, we voted, we have to deal with the consequences, for now at least.

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