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Labour commits to independent NHS pay review process

  • 5 Comments

A Labour government would draw up a new agreement with the NHS workforce including a commitment not to renege on staff pay recommendations, the party has promised.

Unveiling its 10 year plan for the NHS today, Labour said it would enter into a new ‘compact’ with the 1.3m NHS staff to “lift morale and improve patient care.”

This would include appointing a new “NHS staff champion” responsible for improving workplace culture and reducing bullying, work-related stress and sickness absence.

NHS trade unions are currently locked in a pay dispute with the coalition government over its decision to reject the NHS Pay Review Body recommendation of a 1 per cent pay rise for all NHS staff.

If Labour wins the general election in May the party says it will “recommit to the Pay Review Body process and pledge not to renege irresponsibly on pay deals like current ministers”.

Labour said measures taken by its proposed staff champion “could include requiring NHS organisations to have a staff health and wellbeing strategy; ensuring that management practices are in line with HSE management standards on work-related stress; promoting a culture of open communication and inclusion; and supporting all staff in raising concerns about safety, malpractice or wrongdoing.”

It will also take a ‘zero-tolerance’ approach to physical or verbal abuse putting in place access to conflict resolution training, a system to record incidents of violence and consulting police over whether they need new powers such as on the spot fines for violence against NHS staff.

Labour’s plan for the NHS includes a promise to fund 20,000 extra nurses, 8,000 GPs, 3,000 midwives and 5,000 homecare staff paid for out of its £2.5bn Time to Care Fund.

Labour also committed to consult staff on future changes to the NHS saying the ‘compact’ with staff would rule out further top-down reorganisation.

Labour said the improvements in workplace culture will help reduce work-related stress and sickness absence that costs the NHS £1.6 billion a year as well as the cost of agency staff.

  • 5 Comments

Readers' comments (5)

  • Most work related stress is due to a sense of feeling overwhelmed, due to time constraints, feeling stretched with all the multi tasking etc etc People then burn out when constantly on a roller coaster. When one is young keen eager to progress the roller coaster is manageable for a finite length of time its all new and exciting. Combined with stressors of personal life as one gets older at times clinicians feel they cannot cope. Many of these so called proposals are already in place. I sincerely hope the 20,000 nurses are clinical, not so called champions whom are likely to be someone in a suit joining the other pen pushers. Our local hospital recently had 'focus groups' on improving the hospital half the people attending were non clinical managers. How can you give credible opinions on how wards, outpt's, operating theatres etc etc can be run if you have never worked on them?!!

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  • Or haven't a clue what to do when they do (on very odd occasions) work on them

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  • About 15 years ago, as a ward sister, I was given the task of writing a set of standards for...well everything really! From greeting patients to last offices. Then I was invited to a 'validation' meeting to discuss general standards and also to check the work other wards had done on their standards. What a laugh! Little F grade me sat with a roomful of suits whose contributions to the process went along the lines of ' I see ward X has written that the patient IS welcomed onto the ward - do you think it should read 'The patient WILL BE welcomed onto the ward?'
    Then there would be a great debate on it and much praise for the person suggesting the change of wording.
    Coffee time came with a fabulous array of croissants, cream buns and biscuits. that break lasted about an hour.
    By the end of the morning I was seriously considering getting a gun but was unsure who to shoot - me or them.
    Unfortunately these people were actually counted as nurses for establishment purposes and were all at least H grades.

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  • Anonymous | 27-Jan-2015 6:45 pm

    eye opening, or closing, depending on how you look at it!

    but seriously, your comment is very revealing, or shouldn't we be surprised?
    who paid for croissants and sticky buns by the way, and did they take this opportunity during this lengthy break to discuss work and generate further good ideas through small talk - think tank style?

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  • Yeh, yeh, yeh ...... and pigs will fly. Don't be taken in by this nonsense, they are all liars. If the Tory government is serious about re-election, it could do worse than offer a realistic pay increase which goes some way towards making up what all NHS workers have lost over the past three years. This derisory 1% offer must be regarded as just the starting point in negotiation.

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