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'Don't pit nurses against managers!' leader warns

The NHS should be working together, not “pitting managers against nurses” over pay, the NHS Confederation has claimed. 

The organisation, which represents clinical leaders as well as HR and managers, responded comments from Royal College of Nursing (RCN) chief executive Dr Peter Carter. 

A report released by Dr Carter showed that executives in half of all acute trusts in England had been given pay increases of £5,000 over two years. 

However, earlier this year the government refused to accept the suggestion of the independent Pay Review Body, who suggested all NHS staff should be offered a 1% pay increase. 

Pay for senior managers is determined by the NHS trust. The government believes most NHS employers are setting executives pay with “sensitivity to the position of staff who are subject to national contracts and restraint over pay”. 

And Rob Webster, NHS Confederation chief executive said that there has been pay restraint for hospital executives. 

He said: “At a time of great change it is important that we come together in the NHS.

“As the trade union representing nurses, the Royal College of Nursing is right to represent its members' interests, and to argue for pay rises, benefits and other incentives for the nursing workforce. It would be remiss of the RCN to take its members' subscription fees if it didn't.

“It is also important that there is balance in the debate and we believe that putting clinicians against managers will not improve patient care.”

On releasing the report into senior manager pay, Dr Carter said: “It's extremely worrying that the Government believes that Trusts are acting responsibly when it's clear many are failing to show the leadership they should on senior management remuneration.

“Failing to pay nursing staff a decent wage will continue to affect nurses' living standards and morale and cause many more to consider leaving the NHS which is bad for nurses, bad for the NHS and bad for the country.” 

Independent evidence pointed at by the NHS Confederation claims that in 2014 there was zero increase in the average level of executive pay, across all board positions and across all types of NHS organisation. 

And in the year ending March 2013, 60% of NHS board directors received no salary increase.