Tag Archives: Nursing

Support nurses’ campaign for fair pay!

A nurse: doesn’t this person deserve fair pay, after working to keep us all safe from Covid-19 for the last six months – and facing what could be a much worse period in the immediate future?

Yes, that means you!

The Royal College of Nursing has launched a campaign to pressure the government into paying nursing staff what they’re worth. Here’s what’s happening and how you can get involved:

The RCN wants nursing professionals to be valued for their high level of knowledge, expertise and skills with pay that reflects the complexity of their roles and the impact of their work.

This means campaigning for an early and significant pay rise for NHS staff and influencing independent health and social care employers, so they recognise and reward nursing staff properly.

That would involve a fully funded 12.5 per cent pay increase for all NHS nursing staff covered by Agenda for Change, as part of a one-year deal that applies equally to all bands.

That’s right – an increase of one-eighth of wages for all nurses. When the Tories recently mentioned large-sounding pay rises, they only applied to a tiny proportion of staff; most nurses got around one per cent – less than inflation.

The Fair Pay for Nursing campaign is about recognising the complexity of skill, responsibility and expertise demonstrated every day by nursing support workers, nursing associates, registered nurses and all members of the profession. It is about making sure that a safety critical profession can reach safe staffing levels and fill tens of thousands of unfilled nursing jobs. Ultimately, it is about providing safe and effective care for all people of the UK.

And you can help.

1. Find out more about the pay campaign and what it seeks to do.

2. Spread the word about it on social media using #FairPayForNursing, sharing your thoughts on why nursing staff deserve a fair pay rise.

3. Speak to family, friends, patients and colleagues about why you believe nursing staff deserve an early and significant pay rise.

Source: Demanding fair pay for nursing now | Bulletin | Royal College of Nursing

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If you hear Boris Johnson making a claim, it’s probably a lie – as his PMQs performance proves

Duper’s delight: This is the smile Boris Johnson wears when he is lying. He would have been wearing it in Parliament during PMQs but he was too busy wagging his hands around.

How reassuring it was to hear Boris Johnson claim that the bursary for trainee nurses has been restored and that hospital parking is free.

There’s just one small issue: trainee nurses shouldn’t apply for that bursary and anyone visiting hospital should bring their cash with them.

Because both of Johnson’s claims were lies.

The UK now has a prime minister so dishonourable, so low, that he thinks nothing of telling falsehoods to the nation, wholesale.

In Prime Minister’s Questions, he boasted: “We’ve restored the nurses’ bursary, introduced a bill to ensure a record cash boost for our NHS, and ensured there is free hospital car parking for everybody who attends a hospital.”

That reminds me: adjust the figures for inflation and his “record cash boost for our NHS” turns out to be nothing of the sort.

Here’s Nursing Notes on Johnson’s lies:

While a new educational grant of up to £8,000 per year will be offered to all nursing students on courses from September 2020, it falls significantly short of the bursary system previously scrapped by the Conservative Party as students will graduate with up to £60,000 of debt.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has previously confirmed that from April 2020 some hospital staff and visitors will be entitled to free parking. However, this will be limited to blue badge holders and the parents of sick children staying overnight.

And for those of you who prefer audio-visual records:

Source: ‘Nursing bursary restored and hospital parking is free’, insists PM | NursingNotes

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Hunt trolls NHS staff by praising rota showing dangerous staff shortages

Evolve Politics has also published a decent article on this subject, here.

How does this man get to remain Secretary of State for Health and Social Care?

Jeremy Hunt has issued a tweet claiming that he is proud of the appalling staff shortages he has created in the National Health Service.

See for yourself (hint: red means bad):

See, he wasn’t showing how safe staffing levels were being maintained; he was proving that they aren’t.

Every red box on that rota means at that time of day, on that ward, patients were considered to be at high risk due to understaffing.

On the early shift, only two wards have adequate staff. In contrast, no less than 11 wards have an inadequate number of nurses and are labelled “high risk”.

And everybody realised exactly what it said:

This is what happens when Tories start tinkering with organisations they simply don’t understand. And it will get worse, unless they are stopped:

So let’s stop them.

You can start by joining the NHS day of action on February 3:

There will be another day of action on February 3:

If you can attend both, please do. Only by keeping up the pressure can we overcome the Tory government and its automatic bias against a health service that exists not for profit, but to serve the needs of the people.


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There aren’t enough nurses because that’s Tory policy

New stats reveal many hospitals do not have enough nurses for their needs [Image: Getty].

The Conservative Party believes qualifications are unnecessary if a person wants to be a nurse.

That is the only conclusion to be drawn from new figures that show nurses are being replaced by cheaper, unqualified healthcare assistants.

It should come as no surprise to teachers – Tories have been allowing unqualified amateurs to teach our children since 2013. The reason? Because it is cheap.

That’s why patients at most of the 50 largest hospital trusts are now less likely to survive and recover from their illnesses; it should be obvious that being treated by unqualified staff will make this more likely.

Tories don’t care. They want your healthcare provided on the cheap. Here’s the reason for that:

That’s why student nurse bursaries have been axed – to make it harder for people to gain qualifications in nursing.

The Tories have been helped by Brexit, which means the NHS won’t benefit from foreign-born nursing staff.

And, of course, there’s the fact that Tories like to pay medical professionals starvation wages rather than a sum showing respect for the work they do.

Needless to say, the Tories are defending themselves by pointing out that they have announced an extra 10,000 places for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals by 2020.

But – as This Writer has already pointed out – who’s going to take up those places when staff are overstressed because they are overworked, and pay is poor?

Feel free to point this out to your Tory-voting, NHS-using neighbour.

Data shows more than half of the largest hospitals have tried to cope with staffing crisis by bringing more unregistered staff on shift.

And the situation is worse at night, when two thirds of hospitals use unregistered support staff.

“Nurses have degrees and expert training,” [Janet] Davies [or the Royal College of Nursing] said.

“To be blunt, the evidence shows patients stand a better chance of survival and recovery when there are more of them on the ward.”

Hospitals have been forced to publish their own staffing levels since 2014 in response to the Mid-Staffs hospitals scandal.

The union says across the country there are 40,000 nurse vacancies and has warned Brexit will only make matters worse.

The RCN says low pay is also to blame following seven years of real-terms wage cuts handed out by the Tory Government.

The Government’s decision to axe bursaries for student nurses has also been blamed as a factor in the recruitment crisis.

But a Department of Health spokesman insisted that overall the number of nurses is up since 2010, and that it plans to recruit thousands more in the coming years.

“Just this month we announced an extra 10,000 places for nurses, midwives and allied health professionals by 2020,” the spokesman said.

Read more: Nursing crisis is leaving NHS hospitals unsafe as some of the country’s biggest trusts do not have staff they need


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NHS Wales should be praised for employing agency nurses to keep care standards high

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The facts about health service pay: If NHS Wales is having to employ agency staff, perhaps it is because the Conservative Government does not provide enough funding for NHS employees. Maybe this is why so many have been lured abroad by higher pay and better standards of living.

A Freedom of Information request by the Welsh Conservatives has revealed that NHS Wales had to spend £190 million on agency doctors and nurses in the last four years. Shame on NHS Wales, right?

Well, no. This merely demonstrates the cack-handed way the Conservatives have been running the health service since taking office as part of the Coalition Government in 2010.

Does anybody remember reports last year that the Conservative-led Coalition Government had dumped 4,000 senior nurses since 2010, considering them to be “disposable” and “a quick way to save money”?

Dr Peter Carter, chief executive of the Royal College of Nursing, said at the time: “We are facing a Europe-wide shortage of nursing staff and the last thing the NHS should be doing at this time is treating its highly experienced staff as disposable.

“We need to be doing everything we can to retain the skills we have in the NHS rather than using them as a quick and easy way to make savings.”

These words clearly fell on deaf ears in the Department of Health, which continued to cut nursing staff. Cuts in health spending in England are mirrored, via the Barnett formula, in funding provided to the devolved health services elsewhere in the UK, meaning that the Welsh Government has had to reduce money provided for other services in order to address the cut in spending – and service standard – caused by Tory changes.

That has taken several years to accomplish – as this blog has made clear in previous articles. The Westminster government’s grant to Wales has been cut by a massive 10 per cent since 2010.

And what has happened to our highly-qualified NHS staff members in the meantime? It seems they have been attracted abroad by foreign health services that treat their workforce with more respect.

Vox Political commenter karenmarieuk, responding to a recent article, told us: “My daughter now lives in South Africa and is treated by British staff at both her GP surgery and her local hospital.”

She asked: “Why do our health care professionals have to emigrate to earn the respect they deserve? Our nursing staff are canvassed regularly by Australia, being offered incentives such as housing and vastly improved lifestyles as well as pay that puts the UK to shame! This is just one country from many.

“When, I wonder, will the UK stop this mass exodus and try keeping staff here?”

When indeed? Never, under a Conservative government.

The Welsh Tories have shot themselves in the foot (again) with their ridiculous claims following this FoI request. The total amount spent on agency staff by NHS Wales comes to 1/120 of funding every year, to be compared with the 10 per cent cut from Conservative and Conservative-led Westminster governments.

Conservative politics has caused the problem, not a Labour-run health service.

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