Press release: DAUK writes to Chancellor on plans for a further public pay freeze


Doctors, nurses and our NHS colleagues across the frontline have worked themselves into the ground in service to this country in its hour of greatest need. Sadly over 275 health and social care workers have already paid the ultimate price for doing so, and have already died from COVID-19. Despite this NHS staff continue to turn up for work every day, willingly putting their lives on the line keep patients safe. 

It is therefore unconscionable that the Treasury is considering a policy of a further public sector pay freeze. This represents nothing less than a real terms pay cut for the same NHS staff we clap for every single Thursday. 

 Whilst DAUK recognises the need to rebuild our economy as a nation, it is nothing less than a crass betrayal of frontline NHS staff to ask them to shoulder this financial burden.  

To that effect today DAUK has written to Mr Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, asking that this future policy be reconsidered as a matter of urgency. At the very least we believe that frontline staff deserve a pay rise in line with inflation for seeing this country and the NHS through one of the greatest challenges it has yet to face. A further real terms pay cut would not only be unnecessarily cruel, but may also hamper our efforts to rebuild our NHS as a time when we are already understaffed. 

Dr Samantha Batt-Rawden, President of the Doctors’ Association UK said: 

“The NHS effort in response to this pandemic has been nothing short of phenomenal. However, there is no doubt that we have been hampered by the brutal under-resourcing of the past few years. The NHS went into this crisis nearly 10,000 doctors and nearly 50,000 nurses down after years of pay restraint. Our A&E waiting times over the winter were the worst they have ever been. Elective surgery waiting times were spiralling out of control.  

“It is therefore with disbelief that we greet the news that a further pay freeze for NHS workers is being considered. This deeply worrying policy is in direct conflict with government rhetoric throughout this crisis. Indeed the Prime Minister has spoken time and time again of his deep gratitude to NHS staff. A further pay freeze, representing nothing less than a real terms pay cut for frontline doctors and nurses, is not the way to show this.”