• The RCN has warned that low pay has contributed to 40,000 unfilled posts
• Concerns raised that levels of patient care are declining due to staff shortages
• Uncertainty over Brexit has also caused other-EU nationals to leave the UK
Off the back of the negotiating a coalition between Prime Minister Theresa May and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Janet Davies, RCN chief executive and general secretary, cautioned the new Government against focusing too much on Brexit negotiations to the detriment of the NHS.
Ms Davies confirmed, “the RCN will launch a summer-long protest, calling on the Government to scrap the 1% pay cap.”
She explained further, “…a pay rise that is deliberately held below inflation is in fact a pay cut. The cap, after years of pay freezes, means that nursing staff are 14% and at least 3,000 a year worse off than they were in 2010. This summer, the Government has one last chance to scrap the cap”
“'Hospitals, clinics and communities across the country are short of the nursing staff they need to provide safe care. They are being driven out of the NHS by levels of pay that are as damaging to patient care standards as they are to a nurse's family life.”
It is clear the RCN are continuing to make a stand to ensure their cause does not get left behind amongst the resolution of Brexit.
One of the main concerns is how much the NHS will fall into disrepair and to the detriment of patients if the Government refuses to listen.
Ms Davis adds, “Health and care services must be a greater priority for this Government than they were for the last. They must be funded to a higher level and we must see action on election promises, especially around mental health and the right to remain for health and care workers from across the EU.”
As it stands the Government’s pay cap does little to help fill the 40,000 nurse jobs needed in England alone.
As a nurse in the UK, do you believe the Government are on your side?
How has Brexit affected your workload?