Tagged: health care assistants

Survey shows 42% of student nurses in the North East are considering working abroad


Nurses’ leaders say a Government attack on pay will cause “brain drain” from the NHS as 42% of student nurses in the region are consider working abroad.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) said the ongoing attack on NHS pay is making most student nurses feel undervalued before they have even qualified, and risks forcing newly qualified nurses to look for fairer pay outside the NHS.

A survey of the RCN’s student members has found that the recent decision to deny NHS staff a pay increase of 1% has left the country’s future nurses feeling anxious about their finances.

Peta Clark, operational manager for the RCN Northern Region said:

“The results of the RCN’s survey – which is part of a wider national survey carried out between July and September this year, shows that nursing students are feeling disheartened and unvalued by the current Government’s outrageous and unfair policy on NHS pay.

“NHS Trusts across the region are struggling to recruit and retain nursing staff. And yet, because of the Government’s refusal to pay a cost of living increase for nurses and health care assistants, we now have the very real possibility of seeing many of our current student nurses leaving the country to work abroad, where pay, terms and conditions are superior.

“Forty two percent of the current crop of nursing students across the North East and Cumbria told us that they are actively considering pursuing a career in nursing abroad, because the current state of nursing pay is so woeful.”

Countries such as Canada and Australia are currently actively recruiting nurses from the UK, because they know that the quality and skills that NHS nurses have are second to none.

Figures obtained by the RCN shows that 82% of student nurses polled across the North East and Cumbria are angry about the Government’s decision on nurses pay and 75% said the Government’s decision on pay has made them feel undervalued and unappreciated.

On Monday frontline health workers in the North East will strike in support of their claim for fair pay. Nurses, health care assistants, paramedics, porters and medical records staff across the country will take part in industrial action to show their anger at the Government’s failure to honour a 1% pay rise.

After three years of pay freezes and pay restraint, Chancellor George Osborne had said a 1% pay rise across the board was “affordable” from April this year. However, the Government then controversially reneged on this promise.

While some nurses and health care assistants still get their incremental pay increase, which rewards experience and skills learnt after a length of service, many are not be entitled to the rise. The Government has insisted it cannot afford a general pay increase without putting frontline jobs at risk.

A Department of Health spokesperson said:

“NHS staff are our greatest asset and we know they are working extremely hard. This is why despite tough financial times, we’ve protected the NHS budget and now have 13,500 more clinical staff than in 2010.

“We want to protect these increases and cannot afford incremental pay increases – which disproportionately reward the highest earners – on top of a general pay rise without risking frontline NHS jobs. We remain keen to meet with the unions to discuss how we can work together to make the NHS pay system fairer and more affordable.”

Source –  Newcastle Evening Chronicle –  08 Oct 2014

North East health bosses’ ‘disgraceful, demoralising’ pay rises condemned

Health bosses at a North East health trust have been awarded huge pay rises despite frontline nurses struggling to get an across the board 1% increase.

Senior members of staff at Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, which runs mental health services in the region, have seen their wages hike by up to 9.5% in the last two years.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust is currently undergoing significant change with its Transforming Services Programme which could see as many as 169 posts reduced under radical plans to change the way that care is delivered to vulnerable patients.

Former chief executive of the trust Gillian Fairfield, who left her post at the end of March this year, saw her salary rise the most from £182,700 in 2012/13 to £200,000 in 2013/14, a boost of £17,300.

Meanwhile, Lisa Quinn, executive director of performance and assurance, and Elizabeth Latham, former director of workforce and organisational development, had pay rises of 5.5%, with both their wages jumping from £100,000 to £105,500.

Nurses’ leaders and MPs have reacted with anger as the wage boosts come at a time when not all frontline NHS staff are being given a 1% rise. While some nurses and health care assistants will still get their incremental pay increase, which rewards experience and skills learnt after a length of service, many will not be entitled to the rise.

The Government has insisted it cannot afford a general pay increase without putting frontline jobs at risk.

Glenn Turp, Royal College of Nursing Northern Regional Director said: “We are very concerned to learn that Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust awarded such a significant pay rise to Gillian Fairfield. When it comes to pay, it seems we are seeing one rule for NHS chief executives, and another for frontline nursing staff.

“Less than half of nursing staff at the top of their pay increment will get a paltry 1% pay rise this year, following three years of pay restraint. The rest will simply get what they are contractually entitled to, if they can demonstrate they have developed their skills in the previous year.

“And we know that, once inflation is factored in, NHS salaries have in fact been cut between 8% and 12% in real terms, between the period 2010 and 2014. A band three health care assistant working on the frontline earns £16,200 a year; less than this chief executive was awarded as a pay rise in one year. It’s disgraceful and demoralising for frontline workers.”

Health chiefs have insisted that since Northumberland, Tyne and Wear became a foundation trust in December 2009, executive directors had more responsibility and this was reflected in their salaries.

Chairman of the trust, Hugh Morgan Williams, said: “When a NHS trust gains foundation trust status it acquires a significant amount of managerial and financial freedom and a degree of independence from the Department of Health.

“Individual executive directors of the organisation therefore gain more responsibility, which you would expect to be reflected in their remuneration, amongst other things, due to the complexities of responsibilities directors have to undertake.

“Northumberland, Tyne and Wear became a foundation trust on December 1, 2009, and it had been agreed to commission an external review on authorisation as a foundation trust. This review was deferred on several occasions and took place during 2013/14. There was a commitment to back date any increases to the date of achieving Foundation Trust status and this commitment has now been honoured.”

Newcastle East MP Nick Brown said pay restraint in the NHS should be the same for everyone. He added: “If exceptions are to be allowed, we should start with those who are the least well-paid. There is no excuse for breaching the public sector pay policy just for those who are already amongst the highest paid.”

Dr Fairfield now works at Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust and was unavailable for comment.

Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust’s executive directors pay

Gillian Fairfield, former chief executive

Salary 2012/13: £182,700

Salary 2013/14: £200,000

% change: 9.5

James Duncan, executive director of finance and deputy chief executive

Salary 2012/13: £125,000

Salary 2013/14: £126,250

% change: 1%

Gary O’Hare, executive director of nursing and operations

Salary 2012/13: £107,124

Salary 2013/14: £109,800

% change: 2.5

Elizabeth Latham, former director of workforce and organisational development

Salary 2012/13: £100,000

Salary 2013/14: £105,500

% change: 5.5

Lisa Quinn, executive director of performance and assurance

Salary 2012/13: £100,000

Salary 2013/14: £105,500

% change: 5.5

Lisa Crichton-Jones, acting director of workforce and organisational development

Salary 2012/13: n/a

Salary 2013/14: £105,500

% change: n/a

 

Source –  Newcastle Journal, 17 July 2014

Health care staff protest outside Newcastle hospital over low pay for NHS employees

Frontline nurses and health care assistants gathered in the region this morning to protest against pay conditions.

Scores of NHS staff joined prominent MP Nick Brown outside Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital to show their anger at the Government’s failure to honour a 1% pay rise this year.

After three years of pay freezes and pay restraint, Chancellor George Osborne had said a 1% pay rise across the board was “affordable” from April this year. However, the Government then controversially reneged on this promise.

While some nurses and health care assistants will still get their incremental pay increase, which rewards experience and skills learnt after a length of service, many will not be entitled to the rise.

The Government has insisted it cannot afford a general pay increase without putting frontline jobs at risk.

Glenn Turp, Royal College of Nursing Northern Region regional director, said: “Nurses are working very hard and the number of people at our protest shows how angry our members are.

“It is baffling that the Chancellor said the Government could afford a 1% pay rise across the board and then that was reneged on. It makes no sense.

“What the NHS cannot afford to do is continue a policy of treating hard working and loyal staff with contempt, at a time when morale is at an all time low and trusts around the country struggle to retain and recruit enough nurses to maintain safe staffing levels.

“We see this as being a year long campaign leading up to the general election.”

Nurses, doctors, physiotherapists, paramedics, hospital cleaners and other NHS staff took part in demonstrations throughout the country.

Newcastle East MP Nick Brown said: “The Government’s continuing public sector pay restraint is not fair and not sustainable. It is particularly unfair on nurses and other low paid workers in the NHS.

“I completely support the Royal College of Nursing, hospital staff look after us in our time of need and we must stand up for them. It is important that the public understands just how shabby the Government is in treating key health service workers.”

Staff nurse Grace Onuoha, 53, of Walker, Newcastle, had just finished a night shift for Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust when she attended the protest.

The mum-of-three said: “It is very disappointing that there is not an across the board pay rise as we are working hard and doing a lot yet receiving nothing in return. It feels like we have been given a slap in the face by the Government.

“Morale is extremely low among staff as we are doing more and getting less. My pay is exactly the same as it was in 2009 despite the rise in the cost of living.”

The TUC, representing 14 health unions, said its research showed that health staff in England were “donating” £1.5bn worth of unpaid overtime every year.

Unions said that by 2015/16 NHS staff would have had their pay capped for six years. Pay was frozen in 2011 and 2012, and limited to 1% last year.

Susan Johnson, 47, of Killingworth, a senior sister in critical care at North Tyneside General Hospital, said: “It is frustrating because we work so hard and my concern is that we will put off future generations from joining the profession as nursing staff struggle with unsociable hours and are not very financially rewarded.”

The Department of Health said it was saddened by the health unions’ reaction to reject the pay offer. A spokesperson said: “NHS staff are our greatest asset.

“That’s why at a time of severe funding restraint we have been clear that they should receive at least 1% additional pay this year and next.

“We cannot afford a general pay rise on top of incremental pay increases of up to 6% without risking frontline jobs and safe staffing levels.

“We are disappointed that the unions rejected our offer to discuss any alternative proposals on pay, within an available budget of nearly £1bn.

“However, our door remains open if they wish to reconsider their position.”

Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle,  05 June 2014

North East NHS managers get pay rises as nurses’ salaries cut in real terms

Health chiefs have received pay rises of up to 17% while nurses and health care assistants experience real term cuts topping 12%, a union has revealed.

Analysis of senior executive NHS pay by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has shown that bosses at hospital trusts in the region were awarded salary increases averaging 10.5% between 2010 and 2013, while mid-band nurses managed a paltry 0.1%. Taking into account inflation some suffered a real terms cut of 12%.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt previously warned that health service employees would face a pay freeze until March 2016 and that they might not get the 1% promised for 2014 unless unions accept greater pay restraint.

Glenn Turp, regional director for the RCN northern region, said: “Frontline nurses and health care assistants have already borne the brunt of the Government’s pay restraint policy over many years. And we know that, once inflation is factored in, NHS salaries have in fact been cut between 8% and 12% in real terms, between the period 2010 and 2014.

“The Chancellor promised to deliver a 1% pay rise this year for the front line, but the Secretary of State for Health is now trying to introduce a further pay freeze until March 2016.

“This is completely unacceptable. It is particularly galling that the Government is quite happy for NHS managers to get significant pay rises, while at the same time, the front line takes another hit.

“A 1% pay increase is a perfectly reasonable and proportionate request, particularly when put in the context of the rises in senior managers’ pay. The Government needs to stop having one rule for the frontline nursing staff, and another for senior bosses.”

The RCN northern region compared the salaries of chief executives across all North East trusts for the financial year 2010-11, with the most recent financial year data available, 2012-13.

Ian Renwick, chief executive of Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust, received the largest pay rise of 17% as his wages jumped from £190,000 to just under £223,000.

Jim Mackey from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust saw his salary rise 9%, from £211,000 to £230,000.

Newcastle Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust’s chief executive, Sir Leonard Fenwick, is paid the most at £246,000, although the trust has insisted he has had no pay rise in three years, despite the RCN suggesting he had received a 6% increase.

A spokesperson for Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust said: “The salaries of our chief executive and of all our executive directors are decided by an independent nominations and remuneration committee and this is to ensure they are in line with publicly available salary benchmarking information.

“As one of the country’s top performing NHS Foundation Trusts, it is important that those with ultimate accountability are remunerated appropriately so that we can retain the very best healthcare leaders in the North East NHS.”

Figures show that a mid-band 5 nurse salary in the North East increased from £23,563 in 2010/11 to just £23,589 in 2012/13, a rise of just 0.1%. In 2011-12 a pay freeze was implemented by the Government to NHS staff earning more than £21,000.

A spokesperson from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said: “The remuneration of our leadership team is decided independently to make sure that salaries are in line with those of other high performing NHS organisations.

“To be clear, however, along with the rest of our staff, no director at Northumbria Healthcare has had an increase in pay since the pay freeze was implemented in 2011/12.”

Last night, the Department of Health defended its decision to limit pay rises for NHS frontline staff.

A spokesperson said: “The NHS is rightly playing its role in public sector pay restraint.

“Average pay has increased by around 1%. Despite this, many NHS staff continue to be well paid for the lifesaving work they do and the majority of staff have received additional incremental pay increases of up to 6%.

“The number of admin staff, managers and senior managers in the NHS has fallen by over 21,000. This will lead to a significant reduction in managers’ costs.”

Source – Newcastle Journal  03 Feb 2014