NHS pay will be restrained to a 1% annual pay increase for the next four years announced Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne today.
In the first budget since the majority Conservative government came to power, Mr Osborne revealed that public sector pay would continue to be capped at 1%. This includes all nurses and all NHS workers.
He acknowledged that public sector workers had already undergone a period of pay restraint but he said they needed to ensure that there continued to be savings in parliament.
'So, to ensure we have public services we can afford and to protect more jobs, we will continue recent public sector pay awards with a rise of 1% per year for the next four years,' he said.
This was a 'simple trade-off',he said, between jobs and pay.
Although Mr Osborne called the NHS a 'priority' there was very little detail on future funding of the NHS, except to say that the Government committed to the minimum £8 billion funding over the next five years laid out in NHS England's Five Year Forward View to sustain the NHS.He said that the £8 billion was on top of the £2 billion already put into the NHS taking the total up to £10 billion more a year in real terms by 2020.
'It's proof that you can only have a strong seven day NHS if you have a strong economy and it's proof that the the NHS is only truly safe in Conservative hands,' said Mr Osborne.
A number of Royal Colleges, the Institute of Health Visiting, and the Faculty of Public Health published a letter on 5 July calling on the Government to rethink the proposed £200 million cuts for local authorities announced last month. The letter highlighted that potential cuts ot health visiting and school nursing services would have a negative impact on child, maternal and family health. It was also suggested to Independent Nurse that the proposed cuts would put more pressure on primary care.