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Government exploring separate pay scale for NHS nurses

Government exploring separate pay scale for NHS nurses

The government is seeking views on the ‘risks and benefits’ of a separate pay spine for NHS nurses, it has been announced.

The call for evidence, published today, aims to understand whether the Agenda for Change contract is creating ‘specific barriers’ to the career progression of nurses working in the NHS in England.

Health professionals and organisations are now able to respond to a series of questions posed by the government on the potential for a new pay scale for NHS nurses.

A spokesperson at the Department of Health and Social Care confirmed a new nursing pay spine would not include general practice nurses.

The consultation, which will be open for 12 weeks, follows concerns by nursing staff and representatives, including the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), about the challenges faced by the profession around career progression and professional development.

And it comes amid an ongoing dispute between the RCN and government over pay for NHS nurses.

Health minister Andrew Stephenson said: ‘We have listened to union concerns and are launching this call for evidence to explore the risks and benefits of a separate pay structure for nurses.

‘I want stakeholders to share their expertise and help us collate feedback from across the healthcare sector, ultimately helping to make the NHS a better place to work.’

Any changes would be ‘carefully considered’, the government said and a response would follow ‘in due course’.

Nursing in Practice is keen to hear from GPNs and other nurses not on Agenda for Change for their reaction and views to a potentially separate pay spine for NHS nurses. You can contact news editor Megan Ford via [email protected].

NHS nurses on Agenda for Change in England were given a 5% pay rise for 2023-24, alongside two one-off payments.

Meanwhile, concerns continue over a GPN pay rise in England, of which the RCN is also campaigning for.

Not all GPNs in England will receive a full 6% uplift promised by the government for 2023-24 because of the way the funding has been distributed to practices – which could see some not being given enough to cover the entire rise, while others could get more than necessary.

The RCN is currently running a survey for GPNs who have not yet received a rise or the full 6% to help put a case forward to the government.

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