Nurses ‘live in the real world’ and understand that pay rises are difficult in the current climate, according the Royal College of Nursing.
RCN chief executive and general secretary Peter Carter was responding to news that public sector pay will be limited to 1 per cent for two years from 2011.
He said: “Nurses and healthcare assistants will be concerned by the proposed cap on pay rises.
“However, the RCN remains committed to defending our members’ jobs and ensuring they are appropriately paid, as well as ensuring patients get the high quality care they deserve.
“Nurses live in the real world and realise that pay rises are difficult in the current tough economic climate.
“We hope the government has learnt from previous mistakes that ruthless job cuts cause patient care to suffer.”
He welcomed chancellor Alistair Darling’s pledge to protect frontline services, saying demands on services will continue to grow over the coming years.
Sustained investment was needed to ensure patients received safe, high quality care, he said.
He added: “Greater clarity is also needed regarding how the NHS intends to save £10bn per year without allowing the quality of patient care to suffer.