Earlier this year, the majority of NHS staff including midwives, paramedics, cleaners, and radiographers were given a rise of 1%. This decision was opposed by the unions because the rise amounts to less £5 per week when calculated. This pronouncement was not at par with the rising inflation rate of 2.3 percent.
Christina McAnea, NHS spokesperson for Unison says that “It's an insulting amount in the face of soaring fuel bills, rising food prices and increasing transport costs. Public sector workers desperately need a real pay rise, not the miserly and cruel decision being imposed on them by the Government”.
Jon Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, said at the Unison Health Conference, “NHS staff have been taken for granted for too long by the Conservative Government. Cuts to pay and training mean hard working staff are being forced from NHS professions and young people are being put off before they have even started. Now, Brexit too threatens the ability of health employers to recruit from overseas”.
Following the unhappy precedences of the pay rise of 1%, there was a flow of relief found in the recently aired speech by the Labor Party. It states that the victory of the Labor Party shall be beneficial for the nursing community in the healthcare sector.
The key promises made by the Labor Party for the NHS staff are:
- Lifting of the 1% pay cap and a substantial increase in the pay to a sustainable level that signifies the complexity of the effort put in
Labor has guaranteed to lift the 1% pay cap on NHS workers, which it believed to be keeping wages below inflation and causing a health recruitment crisis. In case if elected, it would return to agreeing public sector pay through collective bargaining and the evidence of independent pay review bodies. Labor would also return to UK-wide pay rates for NHS staff.
Minister of state for health, Philip Dunne MP, said “A strong NHS needs a strong economy. Only Theresa May and the Conservatives offer the strong and stable leadership, we need to secure our growing economy and with it funding for the NHS and its dedicated staff”.
- Safe staffing levels put into law so that finances never take precedent over patient safety
Labor said that it will bring in new regulations where the patient safety will be the foremost objective, while managing staffing levels in their hospitals.
It will ask NICE to resume work to support trusts to judge safety in different situations. This work began back in November 2013, but then saw a downfall under the current Government in June 2015. Labor would strengthen the work carried out by NICE by giving it a new legal basis, it said.
Labor would also ask NICE to evaluate whether there are health circumstances which would benefit from legally enforced staffing ratios.
Further, by giving the NHS the resources it needs, Labor’s offer at this election is a modern, truly world class health service which offers patients and their families the best possible level of care.'
- Fully funded education that prepares NHS staff to be the best in the world
The Labor party has promised that to increase funding for helping the students to achieve their health degrees which would, in turn, encourage and motivate a large number of youngsters to join NHS and become a part of this noble profession.
Janet Davies, chief executive, and general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said that due to the bursary scrap imposed in England, there has been a subsequent fall in receipt of nursing applications at the university by almost a quarter this year. She also added that fully funded training would help nursing to continue to attract the best and brightest into the profession.
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