New survey data from the RCN reveals over three-quarters (77%) of respondents who are general practice nursing staff in England did not receive the full pay rise promised, and almost half of (44%) respondents received no pay rise at all for 2023/24.
Nearly 1,500 nursing staff employed by GP practices completed the survey. When the pay rise was announced last summer, the British Medical Association (BMA) jointly welcomed the rise, but said more needed to be done to improve the pay of practice staff.
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‘Relations between nursing staff and the Government have never been so strained. Nursing pay needs a fresh start – staff report feeling undervalued and undermined after over a decade of pay restraint, and late pay awards,’ said Patricia Marquis, RCN England Director.
‘The Government should be valuing the role nursing staff in primary care play, instead of leaving them short-changed. They keep communities healthy, detecting disease early, reducing hospital admissions, and preventing more patients from ending up at A&E.’
The research shows a breakdown in trust between staff and employers – nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) expressed concern about the lack of transparency from employers regarding the pay award.
The RCN is seeking a change to the funding model through which pay rises to general practice staff are made. Though the Government has announced they should get a 6% pay rise, it pays for this through a funding calculation based on the size of the practice and how many patients they have. It’s then down to the practice – as the employer – to determine whether it can afford to pass this on to staff as a pay rise. Some practices have paid the full 6%, whereas others have paid less than that, and some not at all. We want the Government to step in and ensure every practice has enough funds to deliver the pay rise to all its staff.
‘If the Government was serious about addressing waiting lists, it would immediately provide ring-fenced money to fund the full 6% pay increase it promised general practice nursing staff,’ added Ms Marquis.