Parliamentary sketch – NHS staff – to be valued, not costed!
Let’s hear it for the hardworking and dedicated staff working on the frontline of the NHS.
This is their lot: years of wage freezes, being threatened (by the Conservatives) with lower ‘Regional Pay’, having to pay through the nose for nurse registration (entitling them to the right to be poorly paid!), struggling with inadequate registered nurses on many wards this compromising patient safety (for which they’ll be held responsible!), being charged five times more for the ‘privilege’ of being able to park near their work place as they were last year and now around half of these staff are being denied a measly 1% pay rise.
It’s no wonder that some health workers have broken a more than a century old pledge never to go on strike, so that they can vent their feelings about how they feel they are being treated.
They deserve to be listened to. After all, the Government set up an Independent Pay Review Body but has chosen to ignore its recommendations.
Of course, a 1% pay increase has to be paid for and it doesn’t come cheap – especially during a period when the NHS still has to find a 4% a year-on-year efficiency gain; something introduced by the last Labour Government. Much of the ‘gain’ of the previous years has been achieved on the back of cuts in staff budgets and pay freezes.
To deny all nurses and other NHS staff a 1% pay increase after a four year pay freeze is a false economy.
Staff morale will be hit hard. Hundreds of £millions more than is necessary is spent on agency staff and the Government has lost millions pursing its dogma of outsourcing much NHS work to private sector companies; something which the last Labour Government became masters of!
Although the Health Secretary deludes himself that the Government’s health reforms have resulted in great efficiencies for the NHS, the reality is that it has caused untold disruption and put an intolerable strain on the health service; with more and more NHS Trusts returning a worrying deficit as the whole system begins to creak.
Of course, the last thing we need now is yet another top-down re-disorganisation. But, the system definitely needs a rethink and to get back to the principle of an NHS which puts patients before profit and where NHS staff are valued rather than merely tolerated.
You can contact Andrew George by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. His constituency office can be contacted at Trewella, 18 Mennaye Road, Penzance, Cornwall, TR18 4NG. Telephone: 01736 360020.
Andrew George MP
Kernow a’n West ha Syllan
West Cornwall and the Scillies
Constituency of St Ives
Tel: 01736 360020
Fax: 01736 332866
14th October 2014