Nuffield Trust responds to pay increase for Agenda for Change staff

Today's deal is welcome respite for NHS staff, however, pay alone isn't going to solve the problem of staff shortages.

Press release

Published: 21/03/2018

Commenting on the new pay deal for Agenda for Change staff in the NHS, Nuffield Trust Chief Executive Nigel Edwards said:

“Many NHS staff, especially those on the lowest salaries, will welcome the respite this deal will bring from a prolonged squeeze in their take home pay.

“It is also good news that this pay boost seems to be coming from the Treasury, rather than the NHS budget - the NHS is in deep financial trouble and simply could not shoulder the extra cost of a pay rise. However, it will be important to ensure that this does not come at the expense of other crucial budgets like public health or funds for training.

“Today’s deal comes at a time when vacancy rates are worryingly high across the NHS - we know there are around 40,000 vacancies for nurses alone, and around one in six nurses and midwives surveyed by the Nursing and Midwifery Council said poor pay was a reason for leaving their profession.

“But pay alone isn't going to solve the problem of staff shortages. The same survey by the NMC showed that pressure of work was a top reason for nurses and midwives leaving the profession. With two in five staff members reporting they felt unwell due to stress last year, the Government’s plans to reduce sickness absence must go hand in hand with tackling very high workloads and low morale across the entire health service.”

Notes to editors

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