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Hunt considering lift on pay cap due to 'goodwill' for nurses

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Jeremy Hunt will speak to the chancellor soon Jeremy Hunt will speak to the chancellor soon about lifting nursing pay caps

The pay cap may be lifted after all for ‘heroic’ nurses, according to comments from the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

A years-long policy of capping pay rises for nursing staff at 1% annually was expected to continue until 2020, but the Conservative minister appeared to make concessions while speaking at NHS Confed17 in Liverpool on 15 June.

Mr Hunt told his audience of NHS senior managers he had a ‘great deal of sympathy’ with nurses, who he believed do ‘an absolutely brilliant job’. Following announcements from the NHS across the UK that the cap would continue, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) decided in a ballot among its members to engage in a ‘summer of protest action’ in opposition.

READ MORE: Demands to 'scrap the pay cap' as inflation at four-year high

‘There is an enormous amount of goodwill, enormous amount of time given free of charge, because people care about their jobs and they see it not as a job, but as a vocation,’ Mr Hunt said.

‘I have had a very constructive letter from [RCN chief executive] Janet Davies. I will be meeting with her and will make sure the conversation is reflected back to the chancellor before we make that decision.’

READ MORE: Pay restraint: Time for action?

The Health Secretary, who will meet with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, currently Philip Hammond, to discuss public sector pay, also spoke about the ‘extraordinary work’ of nurses and other healthcare professionals during the terrorist attacks on London and Manchester since March this year.

Prime Minister Theresa May had previously attracted criticism for her comments during the Conservative’s general election campaign in May concerning nurses forced to use food banks to feed themselves and their families. She cited ‘complex reasons’ and the need for a stronger economy, which Labour opponents and the RCN showed disrespect to nurses.

READ MORE: PM blames 'complex reasons' for nurses using food banks

After the Conservatives failed to secure a parliamentary majority on 8 June, the RCN have called for reconsideration on the issue of nurses’ pay which has lead to an apparent softening from Mr Hunt.

RCN chief Janet Davies said: ‘Pay packets have been cut by £3,000 and England’s NHS is now more than 40,000 nurses short. The government must begin to recognise the impact on patients and nurses themselves. Nurses should not have to fund the NHS deficit from their own pocket. This summer, the Government has one last chance to scrap its pay cap.’

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It's insulting to hear words like "sympathy" and "goodwill" from Jeremy Hunt to describe the nursing/NHS professionals, very condescending. Where was he during the election campaign? and how come he suddenly found Corbyn's "magic money tree" after the disastrous election results.
Posted by: ,
Teresa May and Jeremy Hunt have been so condescending to and dismissive of NHS staff and their concerns for years. They've been more than happy for us to help make up the short fall in the NHS by capping pay when MP's have taken huge pay rises. It now seems there is a 'magic money tree' after their poor election result and the threat of nurse action. Pity they didn't value the NHS and it's staff years ago, This is such an empty gesture coming now and I certainly don't trust them with the NHS.
Posted by: ,
I don't want people to feel sorry for nurses, we just want a fair wage. At times can't just say right its 5 o clock we are going home... Please respect us and give us a fair wage to reflect the very demanding job we have to undertake. I love my job (community nurse for 16 yrs,),and just getting divorced I cannot live on the wages I have, I am looking for another job.
Posted by: ,
Great news for NHS staff that are working hard to care for patients and their relatives. The 1% pay cap is derogatory because it undermines this effort since 2008. The fact remains that nursing is becoming a real force in changing the government policy of the 1% pay cap. Nurses are keeping a close eye on Jeremy Hunt and his new plan. Thanks to all the pressure groups who are standing by the nursing profession and the NHS organisation during this test of time.
Posted by: ,
Oh how so kind of him!, he has only just realised what a good job we do!. He is an awful man and I don't trust him one bit, he makes my blood boil!!
Posted by: ,
Having been the health minister for the last however many years he has was he not aware of how hard nurses worked and how much of their own time went into the job. The only reason he is 'considering this now is because of the dreadful election results and playing politics with nurses pay is outrageous, he is disgraceful
Posted by: ,

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