Press Release: DOCTORS’ ASSOCIATION UK condemns Govt recommendations regarding pay for NHS staff

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6th March 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Many NHS staff finished another exhausting hospital shift this week to devastating news regarding the government’s recommendations for NHS staff pay. This represents an unconscionable affront to frontline NHS staff in all roles who have endured a year of torment working without adequate PPE, worrying about risks to their own health and mourning the death of colleagues.

It should be noted that higher pay rises (2.1%) were previously promised by the NHS Long Term Plan prior to COVID. The Chancellor vowed to give the NHS “whatever it needs” to tackle the coronavirus crisis (March 8th 2020). The latest recommendation of a pay rise of 1% therefore represents a conscious policy choice to insult NHS staff rather than that of economic reality and ignores a decade of real terms pay cuts (see figures at end of document from independent research from The Nuffield Trust and The Health Foundation) which has seen pay cut by £600 per employee over the last decade.

Dr Kaveri Jalundhwala, Vice-Chair Doctors’ Association UK said: The Prime Minister has previously told NHS staff that, “We owe you more than words can say” for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now he must back up his rhetoric with action and act to pay NHS staff what they deserve after the last year of hell. If he fails to do so, it will be clear to the public that his priority is not the NHS.

A newly qualified nurse starting in 2020-21 would be earning about 3% less than one who started in 2010-11, once we account for inflation and the impact of pay freezes and caps. This is simply unacceptable. This isn’t a media story for the government to spin. This isn’t an election to score political points. These are livelihoods of exhausted NHS staff who have risked their lives to protect, treat and vaccinate the country in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic.

The Doctors’ Association challenges the government to explain to the country how it is morally or economically justifiable to cut the real-terms pay of staff that saved the life of the Prime Minister in the last year, while paying £7000 a day to management consultants for the outsourced test and trace program. Frontline staff are already shell shocked and considering if they want to keep working in the NHS after the betrayals they have experienced in the last year and previously.

This latest knife in the back may represent an insurmountable barrier to staff retainment and worsening NHS staff vacancies which already stand at over 100,000. The NHS is facing a retention crisis, and this recommendation of 1% maybe the final nail in the coffin.

Doctors’ Association UK 1-2-1 The Barracks Lancashire, LA1 4XQ press@dauk.org www.dauk.org 6th March 2021 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DOCTORS’ ASSOCIATION UK condemns Govt recommendations regarding pay for NHS staff Many NHS staff finished another exhausting hospital shift this week to devastating news regarding the government’s recommendations for NHS staff pay. This represents an unconscionable affront to frontline NHS staff in all roles who have endured a year of torment working without adequate PPE, worrying about risks to their own health and mourning the death of colleagues. It should be noted that higher pay rises (2.1%) were previously promised by the NHS Long Term Plan prior to COVID. The Chancellor vowed to give the NHS “whatever it needs” to tackle the coronavirus crisis (March 8th 2020). The latest recommendation of a pay rise of 1% therefore represents a conscious policy choice to insult NHS staff rather than that of economic reality and ignores a decade of real terms pay cuts (see figures at end of document from independent research from The Nuffield Trust and The Health Foundation) which has seen pay cut by £600 per employee over the last decade. Dr Kaveri Jalundhwala, Vice-Chair Doctors’ Association UK said: The Prime Minister has previously told NHS staff that, “We owe you more than words can say” for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now he must back up his rhetoric with action and act to pay NHS staff what they deserve after the last year of hell. If he fails to do so, it will be clear to the public that his priority is not the NHS. A newly qualified nurse starting in 2020-21 would be earning about 3% less than one who started in 2010-11, once we account for inflation and the impact of pay freezes and caps. This is simply unacceptable. This isn’t a media story for the government to spin. This isn’t an election to score political points. These are livelihoods of exhausted NHS staff who have risked their lives to protect, treat and vaccinate the country in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic. The Doctors’ Association challenges the government to explain to the country how it is morally or economically justifiable to cut the real-terms pay of staff that saved the life of the Prime Registered office: The Doctors’ Association UK, 1-2-1 The Barracks, Lancashire, LA1 4XQ. Company no.: 11562124, Registered in England & Wales Minister in the last year, while paying £7000 a day to management consultants for the outsourced test and trace program. Frontline staff are already shell shocked and considering if they want to keep working in the NHS after the betrayals they have experienced in the last year and previously. This latest knife in the back may represent an insurmountable barrier to staff retainment and worsening NHS staff vacancies which already stand at over 100,000. The NHS is facing a retention crisis, and this recommendation of 1% maybe the final inail in the coffin. Registered office: The Doctors’ Association UK, 1-2-1 The Barracks, Lancashire, LA1 4XQ. Company no.: 11562124, Registered in England & Wales CONTACT Press@dauk.org 1The Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) is a professional association for UK doctors. Run by frontline NHS doctors, DAUK campaigns for patients and the NHS as well as advocating for the medical profession.