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Lansley: NHS pay cannot be exempt from financial pressures

  • 40 Comments

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.

  • 40 Comments

Readers' comments (40)

  • I'm really disappointed to see that people who consider themselves educated professionals can revert to stereotyping and mud slinging the minute we have a new (non Labour) government. Yes, there have been some positive changes from the last administration, but equally there have been some major disasters as anyone working in the community will testify. For those sceptics amongst you, just look back at previous entries concerning midwives, health visitors and district nurses and you'll soon get the picture. For those of us emplyed by PCTs we see wasted recources on a daily basis, frequent adverts for senior posts offering salaries equal to, or higher than, the PMs, and an increase in the number of pen pushers of varying grades employed to implement the next raft of 'change' from the DoH with no signs of previous 'initiatives' having even been evaluated. What happened to evidence based practice at the macro level? From what I've read, and heard from coleagues, the picture evident in the community is replicated throughout hospital trusts. Some of the comments concerning Band 7s are also offensive and unjust. As a band 7 health visitor and practice teacher, I can assure you that the level of responsibility, together with pace and pressure of work, ensure that I collect my salary each month confident that I have earned every last penny. So please, let's save our energies for improving the NHS and concentrate on all the patients, and families, we are employed to support. In addition, let's give the new coalition government a fair trial before we hang them!

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  • Cannot agree more, work to contract is the only way! Really fed up with the NHS and its ridiculous management structure,just what do the Band 7's do apart from some of them being bullies!! and waiting for their pensions.... time and time again I hear from other nurses 'i just want to do the job they are paid for' I have deliberately stayed a Band 5 due to this erostering nonsense, staff are leaving because of it. I desperately want to leave, but get this folks.....I have been offered 2 Band 6, 9-5 jobs but have had these jobs withdrawn due to 'sickness' re: domestic violence....the Union is involved now, just wondering if anyone else has come across this type of discrimmination??

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  • I am a band 7and I work very hard with patients all week. I been qualified for eleven years and have put in the hours like all nurses do to forward my career and improve my chances, so what gives anyone the right to criticise mine and all other band 7's choice. The person who babbled the last comment, I imagine the decision to stay Band 5 was probably made for you ! As for Steve Williams you were so desperately trying to display your literary knowledge and Wikipedia based opinions that you forgot to make a point. This crisis is not of our making but we all have to deal with the consequences. My pay has been reduced and the Hospital that I work in announced redundancies this week. This problem is real, it requires real solutions how ever unpalatable they may be. We should as a profession show cohesion and intelligent thinking. Not flashbacks to the 1980's and poorly informed literary references

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  • Unless we want the new government to keep us at Band 5 level from the day that we qualify until the day, we retire then we should stop criticising our Band 6 & 7 colleagues who are (usually) more experienced & have more responsibility at that level. Blame the senior managers, the unions and the politicians who have no idea what it is like on the wards! I am a ' Band 5' nurse who's been qualified for 14years, but worked in the NHS for far longer & therefore have NHS experience under the Conservative AND Labour govts. For the last 5 years where I work, it has already seemed as if we were under the Conservatives again with local budget cuts, recruitment freezes, study leave cuts, shortages of equipment, reduced staffing levels and restrictions on bank or agency staff, & no mandatory training because of the low staffing levels! WHEN THIS RECESSION IS OVER I SHALL BE LEAVING NURSING AND THE NHS.

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  • Wow!

    I really can't get my head around these comments directed at Band 7 nurses from this thread.

    I am a band 7. I worked and studied hard to get to where I am today, I certainly do not sit around on my ass all day bullying staff and waiting on my pension, how bloody rude of you to make these comments about dedicated professionals who lead nursing teams in very difficult times.
    I also have direct responsibility for 120 patients in the community, a staff team of 12 nurses and also have had many 'bolt on's' added to my role as a SCNC in addictions.

    So the next time you people want to throw the muck about, get your facts right, not all band 7's are managers, most of us are clinical practitioners, trying to do a hard job without many resources to fall back on.

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  • I dont think the government would want any nurse to stay as a band 5 as we need our senior nurses to 'show us the ropes' so to speak otherwise there would be no chain and nobody would move on.

    Reading the various comments that people have made regarding band 7's i can understand both points of view about the role. I agree that we do need band 7 to lead a ward coz otherwise who would?! but i also agree that there are alot of band 7 roles out there that dont need to be for example there are a team of band 7's running the outreach team in my current trust.In other trusts i ve worked in there has been a couple of 7s but mainly band 6's, so to me theres alot to be said!! maybe if we uniformed the NHS in certain ways maybe we could save money there i dont know?!

    I agree there seems to be lots of mangers for everything nowdays and it needs a good sort out!! for the price of one manger im sure it would pay for 2x Band 5 's or even 3x band 2's those are the people we really need!!! I dont understand were the logic is???!!

    I feel we do need to stick together on this and maybe its about time we made a stand and ur right not let people walk all over us but were very good at talking in this country and not so much the doing unlike other counties!!!!

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  • I think that we have too many non nurse managers telling nurses what to do. When I was a matron I worked 3 days a week on the shop floor, managed A/E, paediactrics and gyne, was responsible for the managing the budget and site management. 4 of us shared a PA.The sisters reported to me. Now as a sister i have a unit manager, site manager, general manager, ass. general manager and director doing the role I had- this is where savings could be made and more efficiency

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  • Anonymous | 16-May-2010 0:40 am

    So you worked a 3 day week on the shop floor and did all the mostly necessary paperwork that comes with management responsibility in these grown up times? The NHS is still an amateur organization but way back when ? you were a matron it was clearly a hobby.

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  • Unfortunately I think we need more non nurse managers "telling us what to do", because on the whole most of us couldn't manage our way out of paper bag - as your dim witted commentary illustrates. Maybe you think we should get rid of some shop floor workers while we're at it, since back 'in the day' wards were run with 1 staff nurse and 2 auxiliaries on nights. It's all about saving cash after all.

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  • Anonymous | 16-May-2010 0:40 am

    If your were doing such a great job of it why not write an article about it in NT and we can all lobby government to role out this cheap but effective super matron role across the country?

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