Nurses pay deal gets positive response

The Government’s decision to give nurses an inflation-busting pay rise has
been welcomed by the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management.

Alan Milburn, the Secretary of State for Health, announced that nurses,
midwives and health visitors will get an across-the-board pay rise of 3.6 per
cent from April.

Sally Storey, immediate past president of AHHRM, said the deal made sense
considering the staff problems the NHS is facing.

"It is what we asked for. The overall view within the NHS is it is
struggling to recruit and retain staff. We wanted an increase mod- estly ahead
of inflation that would give the correct signals to existing staff and those we
want to recruit," she said.

But Storey stressed that better pay alone will not help the NHS attract and
keep nursing staff.

She added, "We must strike the right balance. Pay is not the only
answer to retaining staff. In fact, when recruiting and in exit interviews, pay
is often way down the list.

"Flexibility and control over working life are the reasons why staff
stay."

Marie Cleary, HR manager at Poole Hospital NHS Trust, agreed that the pay
rise would act as an incentive to join the nursing profession.

"This is a real recognition of the value of nursing staff in the health
service and will help us to recruit and keep our nurses. Improved pay will
encourage access to nurse training and for working in the health service to be
seen as a real career option," she said.

As a result of the pay deal, a newly qualified nurse’s salary will rise from
£15,445 to £16,005 a year outside London and from £19,178 to £19,873 a year in
London.

The Royal College of Nursing and Unison complained the rise still leaves
their members behind other public sector employees.

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