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Observation on pay system requested

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The NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) has been asked by the government to make observations on the Agenda for Change pay system.

Dan Poulter, the parliamentary undersecretary of state for health, wrote to the NHS PRB, saying 'the NHSPRB is asked to make observations on the barriers and enablers within the Agenda for Change pay system, for delivering healthcare services every day of the week in a financially sustainable way, ie without increasing the existing spend'. The letter follows the decision by the treasury to decline asking for the NHS PRB's recommendations for 2015/16. These observations will apply to England only.

The RCN described the move as 'an attack on extra pay for unsocial hours'. Peter Carter, chief executive of the RCN, said: 'Now, the Government is asking the review body to look at how healthcare services can be delivered every day of the week at no extra cost – something that can only be achieved by nurses and healthcare assistants working more night shifts and weekends for no additional or reduced pay.'

He added: 'This is an attack on hard working nurses and healthcare assistants, adding insult to injury and showing that the government's declared support for the NHS is nothing but empty rhetoric.'

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