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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 bet the ones who say we cant go on like this are on the big salaries as I cant imagine a band 5 nurse struggling to make ends meet saying its ok not to give me a 2% pay rise

    The gap between the top payed and the front line is so wide it is beyond belief (avarage £157,000 per annum !!!!)

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  • Health Care Trusts could save millions if they gave ward managers and senior staff control over their own budgets and made them properly accountable for them. I am currently working in research and am appalled at the amount of money wasted through having to buy items, basic items, such as files, folders etc. through agreed Tendered sources. For example. I needed 10 presentation folders which I could have bought through a reputable internet site for £1.09 each. But because I have to purchase them them through our nominated supplier they will cost the Health Service £9.99 EACH. Now how can this be sensible management?

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  • I agree there are savings to be made. AFC was right to allocate the wage increases but paying staff enhancements for being off sick is being widely abused. If someone is off sick and were due to work Saturday and Sunday they are paid the enhancements for thaose days. We have to be realistic and if cuts are going to be made (and they without doubt are, now the Tories are in) then we need to look at where it would hurt the least and this is one area where those who come ot their work wont be penalised

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  • Health Care Trusts could save millions if they gave ward managers and senior staff control over their own budgets and made them properly accountable for them. I am currently working in research and am appalled at the amount of money wasted through having to buy items, basic items, such as files, folders etc. through agreed Tendered sources. For example. I needed 10 presentation folders which I could have bought through a reputable internet site for £1.09 each. But because I have to purchase them them through our nominated supplier they will cost the Health Service £9.99 EACH. Now how can this be sensible management?

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  • It was obvious that the Tories were going to go for the easy touch and attack NHS wages. And no doubt we will just let them walk all over us, like we always do. I think it is time that nurses showed politicians that they have teeth and claws and our unions should support us. I am happy to have my wage reviewed if MP's are happy to forego their expenses and be paid the same as nurses, this goes for the fat cat bankers as well.

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  • Here we go, blame the Tories. The private sector has lost more jobs and that's where the taxes come from to pay our wages. There are so many people unemployed now while the NHS workers have been protected and the work force increased while private sector lost jobs.
    There are plenty of ineffiencies in the health service and why do we need so many managers? Since AFC the amoint of managerial positions have risen and all want high band 8 payments and are rewording job descriptions to achieve this. I know this as I have actively been engaged on AFC

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  • poetry in motion its a sign thay are back look out for the strikes dont do it boys you'll be out before five years?

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  • just get rid of band 7 up to managment the sit on ass people?

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  • Get rid of the Band 7s? Sit on ass people?
    I'm a Band 7 Matron/Ward Manager, I manage a Coronary Care Unit, a Cardiology ward, AND do all the Matron duites. If the previous commenter thinks I sit on my ass, then they have no conception of the work involved in that. Maybe they should shadow a Band 7 and see how long they get to sit on THEIR ass!!!

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  • lets not fight amongst ourselves!

    The previous comment obviously reflects the practitioners work place.

    I to am a Band 7 SCN, wish I had time to sit on my A.s !
    Clinical 7's or as described in my Trust as 'frilly 7's' are amongst the first to get hit.
    We need experienced practitioners who are able to manage units/wards/clinics/staff.
    I feel devolment of the budgets back to the 'Nurse in Charge' will save more money and at the same time ensure safe evidence based practice.

    We are not the same profession as before when the torries were last in power, we are educated to a higher level, many of us have advanced practitioner skills at band 6 and above.
    I agree with previous post that we have "teeth and claws" but more importantly, we have education and political savy, use them to our advantage people.

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