Nursing directors’ pay does not reflect responsibilities of the job

NHS directors of nursing are taking on new responsibilities, struggling to take their leave entitlement and working increasingly longer hours, yet their pay doesn’t reflect this.

According to the latest annual survey carried out by NHS Partners in conjunction with the newsletter Employing Nurses & Midwives, directors say they are not yet confident that the NHS Agenda for Change will improve the recruitment and retention of nurses and midwives, with as many as 40 per cent saying it won’t help.

Some feel it has been insufficiently prepared, is under-resourced and will lead to resentment.

The survey, which has been carried out for the past seven years, was undertaken during July and August, and received responses from 109 directors of nursing. It revealed that their median basic salary is now £65,000 – an increase of 4.4 per cent in a year.

Basic pay ranged from a median of £60,500 in organisations with revenues of between £151m and £200m, to a median of £72,768 in those with revenue of more than £250m. Female directors (84 per cent of respondents) were paid more than men. They recieve a median of £67,000, compared with £58,750 for males.

The survey reveals that many directors of nursing are being given more responsibility without additional pay. Sixty-eight per cent said that they had taken on additional responsibilities during the past 12 months, but only 24 per cent had received an increase in pay to reflect the additional responsibility.

Steven Black, editor of Employing Nurses & Midwives, said: “The news that directors of nursing are taking on more responsibility, working longer hours, yet slipping back on pay, is alarming. Nurse directors are shouldering huge burdens in terms of ensuring NHS targets are met, and that should be properly rewarded.”

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