Nurses let down by pay rise

10 Jan 02
Nurses will feel 'sorely let down' by a pay rise that will give experienced staff nurses an extra £9 a week, according to the Royal College of Nursing.

11 January 2002

Health Secretary Alan Milburn has accepted recommendations from the pay review bodies for doctors, dentists, nurses, midwives and other allied professions.

Most staff will receive an additional 3.6% from April, although GPs' remuneration will rise by 4.6% and trainee GPs will receive a 19.5% boost.

Although Milburn said the nurses' award was twice the underlying rate of inflation, RCN general secretary Beverly Malone insisted it would not help increase staffing levels.

'Nurses will feel sorely let down,' she said. 'Pay is the single most effective factor to increase recruitment, improve retention and demonstrate to nurses that they are valued. Frankly, this award is not good enough.'

GPs, however, were happy with their rise. British Medical Association GPs' leader John Chisholm said: 'We are desperately short of family doctors and need both to encourage new doctors to come in and to persuade existing GPs to stay in general practice. A significant pay increase should help.'

Managers said the rises represented a fair deal. Nigel Edwards, acting chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: 'The NHS still needs to recruit and retain more medical, nursing and professional staff. Although pay is by no means the only factor, it obviously has a major role to play in the process.

'We believe that this award will assist NHS organisations in the recruitment and retention of nursing and other staff.'


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