On 10th October 2017, the Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced that the seven-year cap on NHS staff wages will come to an end next year.
Hunt made the announcement in the House of Commons at Health Questions, saying that he had been given “leeway” to scrap the policy by chancellor Phillip Hammond but was unable to confirm whether the government would provide extra funding to pay for the increased cost.
Hunt further added that NHS staffs do a fantastic job in very tough environments, and pay restraint has been very challenging for many of them. However, given the financial pressures it is also true that without it the National Health Service would not have been able to recruit an additional 30,000 staff since May 2010.
The statement has been met with mixed reactions across NHS groups, with many looking to next month’s Budget for a verdict on increased funding.
The announcement follows months of campaigning by unions and public sector workers to persuade the government that the imposition of the pay cap was no longer feasible if the NHS was to recruit and retain the staff it needs.
Last month, thousands of Royal College of Nursing (RCN) members and supporters converged on Parliament Square in London to demand the end of the cap.
The chief Executive of RCN, Janet Davies said the health secretary had listened to the tens of thousands of nursing staff.
She said that the health secretary has put beyond all doubt that the pay cap is scrapped after a summer-long campaign by the RCN. RCN members in every corner of the UK fought hard and can be proud of this achievement.
The Chief Executive of NHS Employers, Danny Mortimer said that It is helpful to receive this confirmation from the Secretary of State, which echoes the messages to the pay review bodies from his colleague the chief secretary to the Treasury.
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