Nurses pay, and pay for those on the Minimum Wage.

There has been discussion of how much nurses get paid and whether they can get more than a 1% increase during the pay cap. I thought it would be a good idea to report the scales published on the web and invite comment on what would be the right answer on their future pay.

According to the official sites a nurse currently starts on £22,128 a year. This rises to £28,746 a year over a seven year period, with increments of 4% in all but the first year when it is a 2.5% increase. In inner London the sums are £26,553 rising to £34,495. In outer London the nurse receives 15% more than the national scale. The nurse would also receive whatever general pay award there was on top of the annual increment. The site says ” Staff will normally progress to the next paypoint annually until they reach the top of the pay band.”

If a nurse becomes a senior nurse or a specialist nurse the pay scale then rises further, up to £35,577, or £42,692 in London.

The 1% overall cap does not mean that a public sector employee only gets 1%. These annual increments are available in some jobs other than nursing as well. An individual may well get promoted and receive better pay for more responsibility, or undertake further training and get higher pay for more skills.

There are two issues to discuss. Are the starting levels too low, and are the annual increments correct?

The government has sought to tackle low pay at the bottom end of the payscale by increasing the Minimum/Living wage for those in the unskilled jobs. The pay for someone on the minimum in 2010 has risen by £3200 a year (full time on the minimum) , taking the hourly rate from £5.93 to £7.50, an increase of 26% over that period. Further increases are planned as it is still low. These increases were of course exempt from the pay cap.

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  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    JR you also missed out the unpaid overtime and the cost of travel in and out of London or any other large city with unaffordable housing, especially if they are “on call” and having to work unsocial hours. I would guess its only through a general sense of apathy amongst those who have not yet chucked in their notice that Mr Hunt has managed to avoid a “winter of discontent”. It was only through industrial action in the 90s that made Australia an attractive destination today for disgruntled UK medics.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Yes the same applies in the private sector. I favour making genuine work expenses tax allowable regardless of type of employment contract in use. Including travel to work, and staying away during the week if needed.

      • Hope
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        So three nurses for one MP.

        You are not looking at this correctly. Cut out unnecessary layers of managers, diversity officers, interpreters, leaflets in different languages etc. Cut out quangos and pay decent wages for those who provide the service. No more cheap alternatives i.e. TAs as teachers, no more PCSOs as police officers. Get rid of the so called civilainaisation of positions in our public services which were intended to put more on the front line when in fact they cost more, create more bureaucracy and we have fewer people on the front line and a host of backroom staff only serving themselves! It applies in each service. Look at the MoD and the military it is supposed to serve, unbelievable. Surely someone can work out that you need more front line staff than backroom staff. Emphasis needs to go back to providing people for front line disputes and a minimum for backroom duties. Councils could save a fortune. Debt £1.9 trillion and deficit still ever present. No more taxes, better use of our taxes please.

        • a-tracy
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          I wonder what the ratio is of front line NHS staff inc. front line active managerial staff: to backroom staff and none front line Managers and I wonder how this compares to world beating top ranking health organisations.

          • Chris
            Posted July 4, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

            A glance at the photo gallery (if you have one) in your doctor’s surgery can be very revealing. Count the number of managers/admin staff and compare with the number of actual doctors and nurses and whether full or part time. In our practice it was very revealing, and not in an encouraging way.

    • Ralph Hulbert
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      No such thing as unpaid overtime in the NHS; it is either paid, or ‘time off in lieu’ given. Which of course can be taken or worked through an agency for more money!

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Ralph can you tell me where you can apply for this? My husband is a NHS consultant doctor.He clocks up many extra hours which go unpaid or without time off in lieu. Lots of the other medics he works with would be interested too. He should stop work at 1700 today I will not expect him back till around 1930

        • getahead
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          DRW, does not your husband’s salary take into account anti-social hours. As a consultant I am sure he is expected to be more flexible than a junior nurse.

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

            No the contract says 0900 to 1700 plus on calls i.e working through the night

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

          Is this the same husband who turns down extra shifts because of the tax burden?

          The two approaches seem incompatible or does he not want to pay tax on the overtime?

        • Hope
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          Change the law retrospectively for PFI deals. Labour were mad to go down this route. It needs to be changed ASAP.

          • Hope
            Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            DRW, I understand your point. However, many people are salaried. Your husband is not isolated in this matter and it is taken into account in his salary to provide additional work at unknown times. The police the same, teachers the same, fire officers the same. Therefore I do not feel sorry for your husband. Consultants are renumerated very well.

        • Sarah
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          In that he is no different to any other professional. – architect, lawyer, actuary whatever. His total remuneration package takes that into account.

          Nurses are lower salaried so it is different.

        • Ralph Hulbert
          Posted July 5, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          DRW, I was part of the Nursing team, and then worked in training. Time off in lieu is the norm, if no overtime is available.This often means staff will work agency shifts when taking this. They are working at a higher rate, often in the same workplace.
          PS working in the NHS has moved me significantly ‘rightwards’ since leaving private employment!

    • bigneil
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      A recent program ( Wanted Down Under ) showed an English nurse looking at jobs in An Australian city. The nurse there said that 80% of her colleagues were English. Says it all.

      • Doh!
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

        The majority of carpet fitters are English too. Next time you have a carpet fitted, tip him a few hundred quid on top of his wages and the price you pay for the carpet. Don’t be mean now!

    • libertarian
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink


      Yeh because no one else has to do that kind of thing. Get a grip

      According to the BMA your hubby will be earning at absolute minimum £65,000 per year and more likely £103,000 plus index linked pension , plus income from private work , dont think you are on a strong wicket there

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        As usual your facts are wrong. He is nowhere near £103k and not all fields of medicine allow for private work

        • libertarian
          Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


          Actually its you who 1) Cant read and 2) are wrong Go and look up the official pay grades for the NHS then get back to me. You are clueless , the top of grade for a senior NHS consultant is indeed £103,000 so YOU are wrong. Your hubby might not be good enough to earn the top grade pay in which case he should brush up on his skills

          Name ONE area of medicine that it isn’t possible to practice privately go on just one.

          • heffielump
            Posted July 12, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            Libby, obviously you are right. In principle all areas of medicine could be practised privately.
            However, the point is: are all such areas actually being practised privately. If you were to be a bitty more honest or curious, you would realise that (in the UK at least) a lot of heavy surgical work or long-term degenerative illnesses is hardly covered by private practices, clinics or hospitals. And that practically all teaching hospitals are within the public sphere.

            And guess what, Libby dear, this is for a very simple reason, not enough profit to be made.

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The minimum wage is a bad idea. Already we are seeing machines being introduced by large retailers and people being employed only only as self employed in order to circumvent the additional costs involved . Only medium and small business are badly effected and more people employed, usually illegal immigrants, who will be on lower wages and paying no tax. Once again government interference causing more problems than it solves by muscle in on a perfectly well running markets and destroying them.

    Nurses pay is emotive as they are perceived to save live which many consider quite priceless. But with such reasonable levels of pay why is it we cannot create enough of our own? With the pound falling and the cost of living rising it will become harder for us to attract some of the best and brightest much less those like nurses we need.

  3. Javelin
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I think they want 1% automatically because of inflation.

  4. Tmmy
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Those scales apply to all roles at that pay band, not just nurses and will be suppliented by allowances for working evenings, nights and weekends of 30-60%. I think that we need to consider the other NHS terms and conditions as well as pay in this. For example sick pay is 6 months at full pay, followed by six months at half pay – that is well beyond what is available elsewhere and is hardly an incentive to return to work promptly after an illness . It would be interesting to compare the pay, terms and conditions available to nurses in the private sector. It used to be that the basic pay was better, but the other contractor terms were not as beneficial.
    The Blair Government in its panic to avoid Equal Value Claims was held over a barrel by the Unions. They created a monster of an NHS pay system, and we will need a government of strength, determination and vision to negotiate a new one. Until then we will just have to buy them off

    • bigneil
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I spent 40 years at a factory. We started off with an hourly rate PLUS overtime for working nights and weekend, though for some strange reason, working nights at the weekend DIDN’T get you both. They then changed us to a salary – -and the pay for doing a 12 hr Saturday night shift was the same as for a 12 hr Tuesday day shift. I’ll be very surprised if the nurses get a salary PLUS nights, weekend, Bank hol allowances AS WELL.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      So staff should go to work in their hospitals when they’re sick ?

      There are far FAR easier ways to make a lot of money than training to be a nurse or a doctor.

  5. Richard1
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The question is are there enough applicants to be nurses and are they the right calibre of people, also is the NHS succeeding in retaining nurses? That’s what should determine pay levels not an abstract debate.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      >are there enough applicants to be nurses

      Currently there are around 4 – 5 times as many applicants as there are places, and schools of nursing are having to turn people away. Then we import cheaper nurses from overseas.

      Same goes for medical students.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. People with straight A*s being turned away by medical schools all the time, due to number limits. Why they want to do medicine at all? Given the dire NHS state monopoly I am not sure.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 5, 2017 at 5:08 am | Permalink

          Yet they can fund thousands of pointless & largely valueless courses at universities. Even are the better ones about have the course are fairly pointless.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Mr Corbyn talks as if there is a bottomless pit of money to be handed round to everyone who votes for him. The BBC keeps repeating that we are one of the richest countries in the world.
    No. We are on our beam ends.
    We face the most terrible crisis – on the level of the Greeks – when the debts are called in.
    This site gives the terrible details of national debt, the most shocking being China which, as far as I can see, is equal to the GDP.
    When the country goes bust after the next Great Depression, pensions for nurses and pay for nurses will simply not arrive. Dramatic? Yup. I was a teacher in Sierra Leone shortly after independence and, once the state goes broke all the services which Mr Corbyn holds up as models – police, army, nurses, doctors, teacher – simply are not paid. They stop work and the criminals take over.
    That is when the hands started coming off and children were handed Kalashnikovs.

    • stred
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      J.R. This morning on LBC there was a professor from a London university telling the host that governments can pay for pay rises if they wish to because the money all comes back in direct and indirect taxes. In other words, the government cannot go bust and can just borrow or print to pay its way. There are contributors here who write similar opinions. On the other hand, we hear that interest payments to foreign lenders amount to as much as some ministries are spending and that our children will be paying for years into the future. The QE fiddle has reduced debt by government owing to itself, but just how much fiddling can be done and is the current inflation in this and other countries a result of the large amount of fiddling by the ECB and BoE/Treasury?

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        not just owing to itself but also crediting the resulting debt interest to itself.

        Party of sound money?I don’t think so!

    • Stephen Berry
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      John Stuart Mill is credited with calling the Tories ‘the stupid party’. Was he right?

      In the budget the Chancellor wanted to increase taxes on the self-employed who, if they vote at all, will tend to support the Tories. Campaigning to win a general election, the Tories promise to damage pensioners, some of their core voters, in a number of different ways. In contrast, Jeremy Corbyn is credited with enthusing the youth of the country with his vision. But would our youth’s enthusiasm have been quite so evident if Mr Corbyn hadn’t so nobly promised to abolish tuition fees?

      And now we have leading Tories supposedly calling for an increase in the pay of state sector workers. In other words, they are calling for one of the first things that Mr Corbyn would have wished to do. State sector workers tend not vote for the Tories and they should not need to be reminded of this. Will the Tories eventually remember who actually votes for them? We shall see.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Well clearly where hospitals are struggling to recruit capable nurses they need to pay more. I suspect in most areas these wages are sufficient. Overall, with pensions included, the state sector is overpaid by some 40% relative the private sector. They also have better working conditions, better pay offs and take far more sick leave. Why should they be when they are so much less productive, many produce nothing but net harm.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

      Funny you should bring this old chestnut up – it’s about as out of date as most of your theories.

      On radio today the IFS said that most of this differential was now worn out since the wage cap and degradation of conditions- they can now be fired for taking too much sick time, even teachers who were once bomb proof. The public sector has a small advantage in average strictly wage terms, (which is a bit pointless as an indicator anyway) but this was easily explained by the fact that the public services employ many more highly qualified and educated people such as Consultants, Nurses (now degree level) etc.. Where do the coffee makers and car cleaners work? This brings down average wages. A nurse was interviewed and she reckons since she left the NHS a few months ago her wages were 20 percent higher than NHS levels on the same grade. If you have better evidence, perhaps you can share it with us?

  8. Christopher Hudson
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    That’s a lot of money for what they do

    I recently had to go to the eye hospital at Moorfields, the place was well staffed, they were by no means rushed off their feet. They were relaxed enough to be sharing the odd joke and giggle.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Good. The last place I would want to see stressed staff is Moorfields. The odd joke and giggle – how terrible. Anyone casually watching anyone else work may consider the job they are watching is easy and overpaid – doesn’t mean it is. What would someone see if they watched you in action?

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        I can’t believe some of the mean comments on this site either.

        (There is joking and japing in the military too. It’s what frontline people do.)

  9. formula57
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Re nurses, the 4 per cent. increments over seven years might be too high over too short a period but that would depend upon the skill transfer that arises from experience. There will be some demotivation at year eight and beyond presumably when no increment is due.

  10. JimS
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    The squeaky wheel gets the most oil. Nurses, Police, Firefighter and the military actually do quite well – and the most publicity – ‘Think of those poor nurses’! (These are the nurses that, like police, spend more time looking at computer screens as they are ‘too posh’ (well paid?) to nurse.

    Meanwhile lots of low-grade civil servants keep the wheels of government turning, to the general derision of the media, politicians and the public. “Front Line! Front Line!”, they all scream, but where do the bandages and bullets come from?

  11. Bryan Harris
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Shouldn’t the pay of the public sector pay increases be based on that of the private sector’s ability to pay.

    It’s all very well to say that Nurses should get more, but I, and so many like me in the private sector have not had a decent pay rise in 15 years, never mind a guaranteed 1% each year.

    On a differernt subject

    JR – While this website is a good way get your views across, it lacks several things including the ability to search out related texts – Can I make a suggestion that this become a full forum
    This would allow your articles to be allocated under a number of main headings: – SCIENCE – BREXIT – ECONOMY – EU – TAXATIONS – ETC.
    Only you should be allowed to publish, while all replies would go under that article.

    Such a forum would open up the discussion on specifics and act as a continuing appraisal of up to date events.

    Reply The search facility gets you straight to the topics that interest you

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Using the browser search is clumsy to say the least – I’m talking about getting all the important subjects organised in such a way that you go straight to an area of concern.

      While useful the current set up is almost a one off in terms of a given aspect of political life. Realign and get the same subject matter in the same place, so that we can see the picture building, and perhaps changing, but importantly have all the appropriate data ready to hand.

  12. Nig l
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    This information without hours worked, qualifications needed, comparisons with NHS clerical grades etc is not very helpful. What I do know is that a reputed 70k for train drivers against this is an abomination.

    I guess £25k is a mid band NHS clerical grades salary and certainly would be considered a very good salary in the private sector for say responsible clerical/office manager type roles.

    However as these are professionals with life and death responsibility often working under extreme pressure these salaries are a disgrace. There is absolutely no premium (and there should be) for both the responsibility and the emotional pressure let alone the exams they take. Successive governments have used the large vocational element as blackmail to keep pay rates down. Those rates should be increased now by a minimum of £5k with The top rate achievable increased by a further £5k.

    Your stuff about minimum pay is just a red herring to divert us from the issue of the nurses. What it does do, though, is remind us all of the appalling disparity between people on low wages and company directors and executives. If they have built up there own business taking all the risk on the way I do not mind, PLCs, Quangoes, Etc, I am with
    Jeremy Corbyn. Tax them, I don’t care about the laffer curve and give it to the nurses. (And traditionally I am a Tory voter)

    • John Finn
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      There is absolutely no premium (and there should be) for both the responsibility and the emotional pressure let alone the exams they take.

      A newly qualified nurse knows less than a reasonably well informed layperson. The skills needed by nurses are hugely exaggerated. That said, there are excellent, experienced nurses in the NHS but, in general, they are reasonably well paid due to the pay and career structure within the NHS.

      Only a small proportion of nurses who leave the profession cite pay as the reason for leaving.

    • 37/7
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      They earn no such thing without masses of overtime.

      • 37/7
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        And they have life and death responsibility on a larger scale.

        • 37/37
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

          The real abomination is that the work shy can still earn more than train drivers AND nurses for simply knocking out loads of children.

  13. Pat
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Re nurses pay, the case for a pay rise is emotive not logical and will need to be rebutted at an emotional level.
    Unless and until people are compelled to hire staff rises in the minimum wage cause more harm, in the form of unemployment and underemployment than they do good. If people decree that no one should receive less than a certain amount them the people should pay through general taxation. Again the case needs to be made at an emotional level.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Why is it always a pay rise for nurses they call for? What about those poor people issuing parking fines or installing bus lane cameras are they underpaid? Or the people fining parents who take their children on holiday a day early. Why always nurses? If they are underpaid let them to get another job and then the NHS will have to pay more. Supply and demand, that is the only sensible solution and by region.

  14. Know-dice
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Let’s kick the 1% issue back to the MPs who were awarded a well above inflation pay rise by an “Independent” pay review body.

    If it’s OK for the geese what about independent pay review bodies for the ganders?

    Reply Yes, they have them too

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      I’m sure we could run the country better (couldn’t be worse !) with fewer politicians.

      Some big savings to be made there, surely ?

      Because of politicians nurses would be better off on the dole in many respects. Certainly in London where they have to compete with the workless for housing.

      £25k a year is living-with-mum-and-dad money, or box room in a shared house.

      £45k might rent a tiny flat. Certainly not buy one.

      Cut the executive pay, boost the nurses’.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        This is where a South centric view and none regional pay distorts things. You can buy a 3 bed terrace in Staffordshire today for £69,000.

        • Know-dice
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          A two bedroom semi in Shinfield (near Wokingham) would cost you £320,000 🙁

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            Is there anywhere within 30 mins driving time of the main hospital near Wokingham with houses less than £125,000?

          • Chris
            Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            Reply to a-tracy: there is no main hospital in Wokingham.

  15. eeyore
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Mr Hammond calls for a “grown-up” debate on the public sector pay cap and I hope he will think JR’s focus on facts and figures grown-up. He also – and this is significant – talks directly to taxpayers and asks them whether they’re willing to pay for pay rises.

    In politics perception is all. Opposition nakedly sides with public sector workers so I’m glad to see that unsung hero the taxpayer being marched up on the other side. As a taxpayer I like public pay restraint. Long may it continue.

    But government is weak these days, and if the cap must go then put the burden onto borrowing not taxes. Shake that magic money tree. After all, it’s only just that those who shout the loudest should foot the bill.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    On Newsnight last night they suggested the advantage in public restore pay had gone. This is complete drivel, overall remuneration in the state sector, taking everything, pensions and working conditions/hours into account is still well above 40% higher. Why are the BBC misleading us so? To protect the huge BBC wages perhaps?

    Doubtless the dopey lefty economist, Evan Davis is hugely overpaid and pensioned by the BBC (from money extracted under threat of imprisonment) and from much lower paid private sector workers in the main.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      State jobs with early retirement.

      A thing of the past, surely ?

      I know retired police constables who have taken up building work – far from being the burned out wrecks that retiring police constables used to be.

      We cannot afford to retire people with £130k lump sums and an index linked 20k a year pension at 50, which could easily go on for longer than the actual service given. And no way did their personal contributions total this amount.

      • JoolsB
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. It’s ludicrous in this day and age that some public sector workers are still retiring after only 30 years service on pensions that those in the private sector, the ones paying for it, can only dream of.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

          Meaning that some of these employees’ real pay is in the order of £80kpa.

          £130k lump sum and £20k a year would need a decent lottery win to fund in any commercial way.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      No praise for Ken Clarke @ LL?

      I thought he rebutted Evan Davis rather well. He showed that underneath the Europhllia there may just lie the heart of a conservative. He knew his brief well too.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink


      Since you are very well informed can you point us lesser mortals to the figures you hold? Thanks.

  17. Helen Taylor
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I agree nurses deserve a living wage, but lets remind ourselves that other occupations havent had pay increases for years let alone a 1% increase. I was made redundant from my administration job in 2012 at a salary of £17,500, I started my new position shortly after on the same amount. Now 5 years down the line I am still on the same amount. I work in the private sector for a Company who has never offered to pay a wage rise in all this time. For those of you who think move jobs believe me it is not easy to find one that pays more I have tried. I am not on a basic wage and in 2012 was earning £1 more per hour than the basic rate. Due to the increases in the basic rate my wage is becoming close to now being the basic wage. So in effect my wage has gone backwards. My husband works in the care sector his wage has been stagnent. with the same issue. He was £1 per hour above minimum wage but with no increase in his salary he will also soon be on a minimum wage. I am sure we are not an isolated case. He also has weeks where he has had to work 60-70 hours per week. 18hr days are very much a normal occurance with a quick turn around followed by an 8hr day. There are plenty of the population living on wages less than ours. I know it is hard hearted of me but I cannot feel sorry for someone who already earns over £20,000 and does get a 1% rise each year.

    • David L
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Yes, Helen, that is the real world for many of us. I worked in social care for many years, loved the job but was disgusted at the pay and the number of managers it took to administer it. So why didn’t I chuck it in? Because the most vulnerable in our society need help to do even the basics in life and I couldn’t bear to let them down. Nurses (bless ’em) are a convenient and emotive cause for the media, but they are only part of the story. I do get tired of armchair experts sounding off about the public sector, but throughout my career I have witnessed selflessness and bravery amongst colleagues when helping those people to whom most would turn a blind eye. And see them reporting for work even with unhealed wounds. Sick leave? Keep bleating, moaners.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      It depends where you live.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        I think this is an area that needs to be addressed as part of this debate. Why do civil servants and other public sector employees get paid (much) the same rates wherever they work?

        The rates of remuneration are uncompetitive for private sector firms in the same area and discourage those firms from moving out of London.

        Regionalise pay and fewer nurses will need to go to the food bank without the total bill going up.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

          You can guarantee regionalised pay will mean nurses going to food banks everywhere !

  18. Iain Gill
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    In my area the high blood pressure and heart problem clinics are now run by health care assistants, I kid you not. Not cardiologist like the rest of the planet. Not even a doctor. Not even a nurse in the NHS style of dumbing down to supposedly save money. It’s health care assistants. The ultimate signal that the NHS has completely lost the plot.

    How much do health care assistants get paid? Is this dumbing down really saving the country money when the obvious issues are included.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      I too would like to know what Band and Grade a Health Care nurse would be on, just to have a level.

      Reply 5

    • Tmmy
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      HCA’s will normally be on Band 2 or Band 3. Basic Band 3 pay is £17k-£20, Band 2 tops out at £18.150

  19. Bert Young
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Most nurses do a fantastic job and are worth more than their current level of pay ; certainly the starting rate is too low . On the other hand the management of nurses and the overall cost is a very large slice of NHS expenditure .

    The problem is at the very top of the NHS – its direction and layers of management cause confusion and waste . A new start has to be instigated in order to redefine the size and efficiency of the NHS . It cannot continue with its present system of organisation .

    • John Finn
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Most nurses do a fantastic job and are worth more than their current level of pay ; certainly the starting rate is too low .

      Why do you think that? Outside London, the starting salary for a NHS nurse is £22k. This is paid to someone who has very little practical experience and will require mentoring and a lot of supervision. Even with no promotion, the nurse can expect to earn nearly £29k after 7 years. It’s not spectacular but it’s not bad and it is guaranteed.

      The problem is at the very top of the NHS – its direction and layers of management cause confusion and waste

      I used to think this but I’ve looked at it more closely. Without management, NHS costs would soar. Doctors are not good at controlling costs. Doctors need to be the good guys and they need to have someone to blame if they can’t deliver this or that. Look at the waste on antibiotics – simply because doctors won’t say NO.

      In terms of management numbers, the NHS is very efficient.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      Not so. I have had four trips to NHS hospitals and each time I found most nurses acted in a routine and largely uncaring way. They do not offer true nursing care, patients are objects to most of them and are usually treated dismissively or patronisingly.

      • JoolsB
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree. Since the Blair Government made nursing a degree career, nursing is no longer a vocation for many and many tasks that nurses of old would do are now considered beneath many modern day nurses.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Spot on, we have NHS England below that NHS North and NHS South. Any big city will have a couple of trusts, from memory Brum has at least three. Inside each trust you have your own payroll/HR function, equality and diversity brigade etc. You could pay for a massive inflation busting pay rise for nurses by eliminating the duplication and non jobs in the above alone.

  20. mike fowle
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I have been trying to find information on nurses’ pay but am a bit puzzled. The RCN site seems to have about a dozen bands with different levels within each band. I couldn’t see what these related to. I did find some guidance that overtime is paid at one a half times and nurses’ holiday entitlement starts at 35 days a year.

    • Tmmy
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Each Band has a pay scale. You start at the bottom and go up one rung each year until you reach the top. When at the top of your Band, you only get the pay rise recommended by the Pay Review Body (if accepted by the Government).
      A newly Registered Nurse will start at the bottom of Band 5

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Are you sure it takes a year Tmmy to move up each rung (I think it depends on each person’s training, ability and recommendations, one guy Fred on this blog said a relative of his only took two years to move up the eight rungs to the next grade a couple of days ago?

    • Timmy
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Holiday entitlement starts at 25 days plus 8 bank holidays and goes up to 33 plus 8

  21. Newmania
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink


    Using the NHS pension scheme from 2015 as an example, a fully qualified nurse aged 25, earning £21,692 and joining the pension scheme today, will typically contribute 7.1pc of salary each year to fund their retirement. If they work for 40 years, stay in the same band of earnings throughout and attain 4pc annual increases in pay, they could retire on an annual salary of £45,500 in today’s money.

    • ChrisShalford
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Good point: public sector pension schemes are generous and part of the overall package.

  22. alte fritz
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Graduated pay scales were always a feature of public service, especially when it was comparatively poorly paid. Like the pension, it was the compensation for not being as well paid as the private sector. Now, however…..

    Off topic, but why, on the Today programme, did Justin Webb have to try to get the Chief Medical Officer, who was talking about DNA records as a key to cancer prevention etc., to enter into the Brexit debate? Whatever her politics may be, I could not guess, she would not be drawn and gave common sense answers.

    This goes beyond proper journalism.

  23. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    JR, I think that anyone working within the care system in this country, particularly in the private sector are grossly underpaid. My sister is a care assistant in a home for the elderly with dementia. She works 48 hours a week on 12 hours shifts and receives all kinds of physical abuse from the patients. She doesn’t get any sick pay. Recently she hurt her back very badly and had to manage on state assistance which was very low for 3 weeks. She doesn’t get a guaranteed pay rise each year. She gets the basic 4 weeks holiday and that’s it. No other incentives. Nurses pay is rather low compared with other jobs where not many qualifications are necessary. How about we give free training, a slightly higher wage but a guarantee that those nurses/doctors work for the NHS for a minimum of 15 years instead of clearing off to Oz or NZ as soon a s they qualify? I can assure you many do. When a secretary in the NHS can earn £20,000 against a nurses pay something is wrong.

    • John Finn
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      When a secretary in the NHS can earn £20,000 against a nurses pay something is wrong.

      Trust me – an experienced secretary to a consultant is a lot more useful than a newly qualified nurse.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        John, Yes, maybe, but I, as a patient cannot manage without the nurse!

  24. Julien Tabulazero
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Unrelated but worth noting. According to the FT:

    ” Treasury officials have written an unpublished paper which challenges the DIT to prove it can line up free trade agreements with non-EU countries that can outweigh the loss of European trade associated with leaving the customs union.”

    So to summarize, one year after the Brexit vote, 3 months after article 50… and the UK government has still not done this very basic piece of analysis or come up with a coherent picture of what it wants of Brexit…

    Is that even remotely serious ?

    The City is damned right to go and negotiate directly with the EU as the UK government appears unable to negotiate with itself.

    • Handbags
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      The FT is foreign owned and writes for a foreign audience – the editor is rabidly anti Brexit.

      Stop buying it.

      • rose
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        FT editor Lionel Barber was awarded France’s highest honour for espousing the cause of the EU against us.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 5, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        I gave up reading it years ago when it adopted the Blairite “Britain is such a small country attitude”and reduced it’s UK corporate coverage.I don’t believe I have missed anything by so doing.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Can’t see the point of doing that analysis as we are leaving the customs union anyway, we had a referendum on it. It’s like saying if Labour win the next election they have to prove they can improve their economic measures are better than the Conservatives. No they don’t.

  25. a-tracy
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    What is the night shift and weekend allowance?
    How many hours per week is this for?
    What % of nurses do a three 12 hours per seven day week?
    What % of nurse applicants are male? We need to attract more men into nursing careers.
    Are the nurses from the EU and RoW university trained?
    How much would a sickness insurance policy to cover six months full pay whilst sick and half-pay after six months cost in the private sector for someone on £22k pa?
    To get a career average guaranteed benefit pension in the private sector what % would the employer have to contribute and what level the employee?

    I agree that nursing graduates should pay for their student tuition fees and when hired in the public sector should have this 9% tax PAID for them, if they transfer to the private sector then they have to pay their 9% graduate tax themselves and get their private sector or Australian hospital to pay their student graduate tax. Then we should train as many nurses as we can especially in those areas with shortages.

    Instead of talking nursing down as a career, specialists should visit schools and talk about advanced training into higher levels for the most capable and what Band and grade they could come out with at higher levels of training, they should big up the continuous training throughout their career especially if it is paid training and helps them to move up Bands. The public sector must talk up the perks and benefits of a career average guaranteed pension and the age they can get this from. I know a 58 year old woman that transferred to private nursing that wished they hadn’t now when she realises what her private pension is paying!

    We talk decent jobs down too much in this Country. We compare ourselves to other Countries all the time, can we see the comparisons in other leading nations for the same grade/progression scales and training costs of our key services are we miles out? What do the Germans pay their health staff, how much do they collect in insurances for these services are there things our Managers should be learning?

  26. Christine
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    As soon as the unions see weakness in the Government they roll out the emotive subject of nurses pay because they know they will get the backing of a large percentage of the public. We know from the Blair years that money can be pumped into the NHS but the service doesn’t improve. All you end up with is more and better paid managers and more waste. We need to improve efficiency. Look at what work people are doing and assess if they are being paid the right amount for the job. Target pay increases at the deserving. The problem with the minimum wage is that it pushes a group with lesser skills into the same pay group as those with higher skills. So in effect the higher skilled workers are not getting any more pay for their efforts. This needs to be addressed. Look at the training on offer and target it at British students. There is a nursing course near where I live that will only take foreign students because they can fill the course several times over and can charge them higher fees. This is the perverse outcome of the cap on tuition fees. I’m not saying the cap should go only that British students should get priority. There is so much waste in the NHS. Everyone knows this and it needs to be addressed and the money channelled to where it is needed. Look at stopping abuse of the NHS by foreigners not entitled to treatment. Ensure foreign visitors have health insurance. Unfortunately this Government reacts to a few loudmouths in the opposition and unions rather than the many hard working tax payers who have suffered the most from austerity. We see the same old problems aired again and again but nothing seemed to be done about them. The public are getting rightly tired of debate, they want action.

  27. Nig l
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    As an aside, the independent OBR says that to meet the needs of our population the NHS has to have another 30 billion pounds a year in five years time. Neither of the main parties’ manifestos promised anything like that so in effect they are confirming that the NHS ‘ standards will decline.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Our population is increasing rapidly. Many can’t speak our language so rely on us to fund translators, while also taking up multiple appointment times, meaning less for the people who actually pay towards the NHS. Even giving the NHS a billion pounds wouldn’t cure any problems, There are only 24 hrs in a day and the people newly arriving, having contributed nothing and most likely never will, are taking up a disproportionate amount of NHS time and therefore money.

      • a-tracy
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        However, we can bill back their Country of origin as we are billed by them.

        • James Matthews
          Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

          For visitors perhaps. Not migrants.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted July 5, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            Why not migrants? During our time in Spain the first two years was free based on our NI contributions in the UK but because we were under retirement age we had to pay for our treatment even though we lived there until my husband went to work self employed over there then we were entitled to free medical care as he was paying a contribution. People should not expect free medical care unless there is a recipricol agreement between the countries over contributions.

          • a-tracy
            Posted July 5, 2017 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

            We are re-charged by Spain for all expats from the UK that live full time in Spain.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Nig l

      When taking over the his job at the NHS the then new MD asked government for 30 billion to bring the NHS up to world standards when he started, but the Treasury offered only 8 billion which is where the 22 billion shortfall is. The thing is underfunded and we just have to accept that. The one sensible policy the LibDems had was for 1p on tax to cover the shortfall, but the public did not and do not want it. We have far too many people living here, many who have never contributed anything at all and never will, just as bigneil says. Not PC but cannot be avoided for ever.

  28. A different Simon
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    John , you seem to be making the same mistake as the Labour party .

    The problem is not “pay” or indeed “package” but is “disposable income” .

    Any increase in pay just gets absorbed by I) increases in rents or ii) in the case of people hoping to buy a house , house prices and mortgage payments iii) society increases in the housing benefits bill .

    The pay increase goes straight to landlords , mortgage lenders and the real estate industry .

    Look at the assistance you have given to the main mortgage lenders , the banks . Public money to bail them out , purchasing their toxic paper , turning a blind eye to charging borrowers huge spreads over ZIRP to repair bank balance sheets .

    UK banks hardly lend to business anymore , just to real estate speculators and owner occupiers .

    People no longer have sufficient disposable income to purchase goods and services provided by Main Street .

    This is why there has been no recovery from the 2008 GFC and one reason why real businesses find it so hard to make a profit .

    If you doubt this just look at how Hedge Funds have started shorting retailers .

  29. Epikouros
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Considerable evidence is now emerging that imposing a minimum wage costs jobs and a reduction in wages of those who receive it not an increase. The evidence has always been there but now it is so overwhelming it can no longer be ignored. The left will of course. Renumeration should be set by what the market decides it is not by a panel or committee as pay is subject to the laws of supply and demand like any trade able goods or service. Unfortunately the public sector does not have a market but if we want the correct levels of pay and qualifications then is should be restructured so it does have.

    We have this misguided idea that if we do not give priority to social consideration over economic ones then society suffers. The reality is quite the opposite as all that is being achieved is that short term gain is undermining the ability to create long term sustainability. So society in the end is much worse off. Nobody cares because life is short and if we receive more than our fair share or more than what we are worth today it is someones else’s problem sometime in the future as it is they who will have to do without or at best have less.

  30. behindthefrogs
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The starting level for NI contributions needs to be raised urgently to at least the starting level for income tax. This should be paid for by raising the upper band starting level by the same percentage and if necessary a small increase to the higher rate.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Why? the NHS can’t cope now. It is an insurance policy and should have been used for it’s purpose healthcare and state pension. An employee actually contributes 25.8% national insurance plus 6% NEST pension with their employer contribution and still we can’t afford anything which says to me too many people aren’t paying in that should be!

      • behindthefrogs
        Posted July 5, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        It isn’t an insurance policy it has become just another form of taxation.
        My proposal didn’t reduce the tax take it simply moved it away from the lower paid.
        I didn’t consider employers’ NICs although I in fact feel that these should also have a higher starting level. I would pay for these with a small increase in corporation tax. This has the advantage of improving the cash flow particularly of smaller companies.

  31. JoolsB
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I know quite a few nurses and their week consists of three days on and four days off. Granted their three days are twelve hour shifts each but then they have four whole days off every week, week in, week out. What idiot thought of that one? Surely from a patient safety point of view, would it not be better for them to work more days and do less hours each shift?

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I agree they should do shorter but five days per week.

      • JoolsB
        Posted July 4, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Doubt any politician has got the guts to change it and upset the unions who believe their members come before patients or Joe Public. If the private sector behaved in the way most public sector bodies behaved, they would go bust tomorrow and then who would pay for all those tax payer funded public sector pensions that those in the private sector who are paying for them can only dream of.

  32. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Why do nurses need more money. Why won’t the NHS employ middle aged people who want to return to work, preferring to recruit foreign nurses instead.
    Why does a British national require a degree for nursing when third world recruits have questionable qualifications and language skills.
    Could it be that the people supplying agency staff and recruiting foreign nurses are curent or ex NHS people making a fortune out of it.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Yes, we should know who these agencies are, how much this private enterprise is billing the NHS for which may show up the incompetencies of the senior managers.

  33. Qubus
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I recently had an overnight stay in hospital: taken by ambulance around 11.00 am to A&E. In the receiving area there was quite a wait before I was initially assessed. Then I was further moved into another A&E area where all the patients were on moveable beds. The place was so crowded with patients, all in beds, that the beds had to be shunted about to make way for the moving of other beds to and from cubicles. The staff were milling around; I would guess that there were nearly two dozen of them of one sort or another, a lot of them looking at computer screens. I assume they were a mixture of trainees, nurses of various grades, junior doctors and I can only presume admin staff. It was very difficult working out what exactly they were doing; it all seemed rather haphazard and I didn’t really detect any sense of urgency; perhaps critically-ill people were shunted off elsewhere. I was again assessed and finally had a CAT scan. All this took many hours. I was then taken off and parked outside a ward in a corridor for about two hours, then, finally at about 2.00am, taken into the ward and given a bed. They were clearly very pressed for beds. During what remained of the night I was assessed a couple more times. The next day, I finally saw a consultant who chatted to me, discussed my case and I was discharged.
    I would say that on the whole, I was very satisfied with my treatment. Everyone was polite, friendly and helpful. However, to be perfectly honest, I did not get the impression that they were rushed off their feet, especially in the wards. Nurses at the desk seemed to be doing paper-work, but still had time to chat to one another and it all seemed a bit leisurely. I suppose the argument would be that really, wards should only be, say, 75% full at any one time, because if there is a big rush of patients, they need to be able to cope with it. Also, I noticed that all the cleaners seemed to be foreign, and doing a good job. So, my overall impression was that there were enough staff, but too few available beds.

    I think that the problem of too few nurses is that they now need to spend three years at university. I personally disagree with this; many young girls (and boys) would love to take up the profession but are not especially academically inclined and are put off, or simply not accepted on the course, because of their lack of academic qualifications. Nursing is essentially a practical job. If they are going to spend three years at university, why not let them spend an extra two years and qualify as a doctor? After all, medicine is not rocket science, above all it needs people with the right personality.
    As regards pay, I think that they are reasonably renumerated; they can progress up a pay-scale to a reasonable maximum. They get good holidays with pay, a good pension scheme, a secure job and, one would hope, job satisfaction. How many nurses get made redundant?
    I understand that they have a fairly high rate of days-off due to illness, but one could argue that an office-worker can go to work with a cold, but it is a unwise for a nurse.

  34. Beecee
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Off topic

    The ministers who arrive for meetings at No. 10 or 11 with that days’, or their own, agenda clearly in view to be snapped by the photographers who are there for that reason:-


    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Yes. In this case it is obvious to me that the minister did it deliberately – he was practically pointing the page at the cameras.

  35. Bob
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    How about an annual bonus for nurses based on customer feedback?

  36. Prigger
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    One or two people would find my biography absolutely fascinating.But the remaining 65,999,998 or 65,999,99 would be as bored a one of those officials in Parliament who have to stand expressionless at the side of the SNP benches in debates.
    Well, I know people would be surprised also, after the 1960s shock-horror photos of British car workers asleep on the nightshift featured in tabloids that, very similar photos could be taken of NHS staff across the board sleeping by arrangemnents with colleagues at all levels whilst on duty and being paid overtime on the nighshift and using NHS beds and bed-linen.
    Well, perhaps it is time to burst the NHS bubble . I am fed up of all the virtue signalling and grandstanding by Corbyn and company. They of course know the truth but are so politically and morally corruptas to go keeping the secret and making political capital out of “our impoverished health service” with those mean nasty Tories trying to Murder us all.

  37. ian
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    You should really quote in net pay and not gross pay, gross pay is only used for mortgages with student loan and tax office. Anyway after seven years a nurses on gross pay of 28,746 after income tax & NIs is 22,665 pounds, then you the tax on gross pay for their gov pension, which i think is 3 percent £ 862. 38 a year, which think i am right in saying that money goes in gov gross taxation, because the gov has no pension pots, i also believe they pay student fees now of 9% over 21,000 of gross pay, which would be £ 697.12, then union fees, which i will take a guess at of £90 a year. So that see, £862.38 plus £697.12 plus £90, all that come to £1,649.50 takeaway from £22,665 = £21,015.50 take home pay for nurses outside of london after seven year at work.
    You have not given how much a private nurses would be paid for that job to compare wages, also you the gov do not tell nurses how much a state pension is worth to them a year on top of they wages with the benefit of taking their pension at age 60 years instead of late on. One percent pay rise from the gov is not one percent it only 0,68 percent after tax. Then you have nurses with children who may be single, and only when the kid or kids are at school and get tax credits, which has the affect of a lower works pension late on. All in all quite a mess.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 5, 2017 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Ian, every employee is in this boat, we only ever compare gross wages not individual net pay? An employee in the private sector also has their employer contributions made on their behalf of 13.8% national insurance and 1 to 3% NEST contribution, which gets them a pittance of a pension pot they can’t now get until they’re 68! John Finn on this blog on Jun 30 10:32 said his relative moved up an NHS pay band from 5 -6 in just two years not eight years.

  38. agricola
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Skill level for skill level the public sector should equate with the private sector in terms of earnings, pension, and any other benefits.. I suspect that the public sector has been better rewarded than the private sector in the past both financially, pension wise and in terms of job security. Therefor before government bows to any pressure to lift wage caps, an assessment of relative positions is called for. Always remember that it is largely the private sector through a multitude of taxes that pays for the public sector.

    In the case of London and it’s astronomic cost of living, why not move hospitals to locations outside the M25, and air ambulance emergencies via helicopter pads in London’s many parks. Use the vacated inner London hospital sites to build suitable accommodation for firemen and policemen. Make accommodation for staff part of the building of the new hospitals.

    There needs to be much thought before finger in the dam political action that normally only moves the problem further down the road.

  39. Seen all
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    The next time NHS staff pile off shift and head for the pub ( I could name the pubs locally and the names some of some of the staff) they could spare a thought for perhaps 45 members of pub staff,
    cellar persons,
    kitchen staff,
    the OAP who waters the flower boxes outside,
    the person who comes to service the beer pumps and refrigeration,
    the food and beer delivery(men),
    the window cleaner,
    the emptier of certain gambling machines on contract.
    The sales reps for drinks acoffe companies,
    ALL earn less than a nurse.
    They could also consider the pub manager and partner…usually up to their necks in debt trying to run the businesss and make a living..actually earning net LESS than a nurse each yet working every hour that God sends plus the ones God never thought about..Sunday where dinners and evening entertainments for nurses and doctors ( I could name some of the doctors, locally ) must be provided or go out of business.
    Of course the cigarette tab ends must be removed from outside dropped by NHS staff, many of whom smoke expensively like steam engines. It must be the stress of their jobs!

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 5, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      No wonder they need the food banks!!

  40. ian
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

    I would not take lot of notice of gov about private nurses and the amount of honey they pay agencies, because they like to keep private companies share prices up, and would never view that as a waste of money, but also it might keep the gov nurses pension down in costs later on when they claim their pension at 60 year old, that’s if they get a full pension if they have had kids.
    The gov never view paying a private company 2 to 10 times more than what product is worth a waste of money, because they like to keep share price up with loads of money for R/D in speciality companies like defence, drugs, road builders, and a like.
    Me & you might call it a total waste of money & could get a lot more for the money, but the gov view it as business & a good investment

  41. To do now
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    The BMA says that incremental increases to Health workers pay are irrelevant. I agree, so stop the incremental payments altogether with immediate effect.

  42. Advance!
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn and the Labour Party have chosen the battleground, the showdown, the Mother of Battles. Take them on!. But take them on no holds barred. Publish the basic pay over and over and over again on leaflets , hoardings, on roof tops, ( shout it!) on TV and radio advertisements the incremental pay, the hours of overtime pay ( in pounds sterling ), the pension. Do it in absolute detail and make sure Corbyn’s Momentum members who by the look of them haven’t had a decent freebie nurse’s meal ( YES I’ve worked in the NHS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) in a week know, penny by penny, how (the ones who work ) have never experienced such relative wealth.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 5, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      True, the meals offered in the Hospital canteens are brilliant and dirt cheap.

  43. Terry
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I believe the minimum UK qualification to become a UK Registered Nurse is with a Nursing Diploma or an Associate Degree in Nursing(AND) or as a BSc Nursing(BSN).
    I do wonder how many nurses from outside of the UK have such qualifications and how their pay scale is assessed.

    I know Agency nurses are higher paid than those in the NHS and that Hospitals are prepared to pay out enormous sums to employ them.
    If such money is available for the agencies why isn’t there enough to increase the pay for the NHS Staff or to give them bonus payments for working over-time?
    It seems ironic that the Public Sector relies upon the Private Sector to provide Staff when there are shortages but does not adopt the management practices of Private Sector to combat the problem.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 6, 2017 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      A lot of regular nurses who work 3 12 hour shifts work Agency temp on top.

  44. BartD
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    Get rid of half of the non-nursing management, bring back matrons of old and sisters- and that would free up staff and allow vacancies for nurses to reach higher paid jobs and also give them some encouragement.

    anyway there is a magic money tree after all- look at 1.5 billion extra going to Northern Ireland and then very soon we’ll also have the extra 350 million extra promised each week being saved from our departure from the it seems there will be plenty of dosh about to keep everyone happy

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 4, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      @ BartD

      .so it seems there will be plenty of dosh about to keep everyone happy.

      Why wait? The money is already there . The trouble is that it is known as the billions that have still not been collected in “Poll Tax, Community Charge” arrears that relates to every local authority that seem unable to collect their dues.

      Their funding should reflect the amount of outstanding PT<CC debt they have failed to bring in. Those with the most unsuccessful schemes should receive recognition in that their funding will be reduced as a percentage of the unpaid debt. In all areas of public sector employment sadly the time has come for push to go to shove

  45. rose
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    On a different but recurrent subject: The BBC is reporting that the EU wants us to take immigrants direct from Africa, as a consequence of Italy and Greece failing to defend their borders, and the German Chancellor extending Free Movement to other continents.

    If this invasion had been nipped in the bud, as it was in Australia, Italy and Greece would not now be in this parlous position, and our new Bonaparte would not be threatening Poland, Hungary, and any other country which joins them in self preservation.

    Is there any hope that the Government will strongly resist this latest impertinence? Our population is double what it should be and will soon be treble.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 5, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      Well the rehousing of Grenfell Towers residents is not going well so where the hell do they expect to house all these extra people? it will mean longer waits for British people many of whom have already been on a waiting list for years. No wonder we are all fed up with politicians.

  46. John E
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    They’re never going to pay back their student loans, are they?

    With the EU nurses no longer coming and bursaries withdrawn, supply and demand will soon drive higher salaries.
    And maybe decent management and staffing levels might help retention, but I’ve become too cynical to see that as a realistic possibility.

  47. The Great Brain
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

    Solution to low pay=get a higher paid job
    Solution to tuition fees= Don’t get a student loan

    One would expect persons of intelligence such as doctors, nurses and potential doctors and nurses to work this out themselves.

  48. Housetralia
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    They are a pretty dumb lot aren’t they. They are told they will not get a pay increase above 1%. ” I’ve not had a pay increase since seeing to soldiers at the Battle of Hastings in 1066″ They hate the idea.Threaten to leave. Don’t. Year in year out. Frankly, we don’t want nor do we need such people. They don’t appear to have an ounce of commonsense. I bet many have applied for job in Australia but were rejected for elementary spelling mistakes on their job applications with the last straw spelling Australia Austria.

  49. Slowly resigned
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    They say they could easily get paid more money elsewhere. Okay. Point taken.Leave! Stop moaning. Just leave!
    Oddly, I’ve never worked with an ex-nurse, ex-doctor, ex-health service person at all. You would think you’d find one or two of them making up for lost time and tucking into wholesome meals serving in fish and chip shops, takeaways, cafes, restaurants, railway stations, bus driving, tram driving, working as librarians , lollipop ladies and gentlemen, school dinner ladies. But no. Perhaps they starved to death before getting to the food.

  50. Newmania
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

    The teachers hereabouts organsied their strike in a really nice Italian Restaurant , its long way form the Jarrow march isn`t it ( quite true suprise really; they would )

  51. Ken Moore
    Posted July 4, 2017 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    A friend works for the local council. £30,000 per year for answering the phone and doing basic admin work and the occasional site visit to check paperwork etc. Rock solid pension provided and job security those in the private world could only dream of.

    Recently he was sent on a training course at a very nice hotel. In the evening he was treated to an evening of entertainment featuring an Elvis impersonator…all at the taxpayers expense.

    He attends college 2 days a week (so that he can go up the payscale) with all travelling expenses, clothing and fees paid for. He can claim for lunch (the allowance is so generous he always takes extra cakes and crisps to take home) and an evening meal up to a value of £27.50. Nobody checks he is actually there in the evenings so he can drive home and eat out in his hometown if a receipt is provided.

    His partner also works for the council..they have newish cars and can afford to go away on many foreign holidays. So much for ‘austerity’ .

  52. E.S Tablishment
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 1:23 am | Permalink

    The flak against Sir Martin Moore-Bick seems to be that he is a white stereotypical and highly intelligent literate and accomplished British man. I blame his parents.

  53. rose
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    I may be old-fashioned, but I should have thought, if you don’t like men of European descent, than don’t come and live in Europe.

  54. Marvin
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I suggest closing down the NHS altogether! The NHS has become a burdensome beast that is absorbing money like a massive sponge. The NHS was founded in 1945. It was run very efficiently on a military basis. Up until 25 years ago – there were just 500 Senior Managers running the service. Over a period of 25 years the number of Senior Managers has increased from 500 to 43,000! In addition, there is administration support for each manager.
    Even if the population had doubled in that time – it would not warrant such a vast number of managers. These managers are each on very high salaries and are unionists – meaning their positions are protected by the growing strength of the Unions.
    While they exist – the medical staff, the backbone of the service are left to struggle on with harder work and fewer staff. The NHS cannot afford to employ more staff. The NHS has been losing money continuously for the same period of time as it began employing more Senior Managers. Hospital Departments have become more fragmented and coherent communication between departments is often lacking. Those who suffer most are those who are not in the best of health, and who are not receiving the care that they need. We do indeed have some excellent medical staff within the NHS, but there are several cases where the staff really are not suited to the work. A recent report from those who are forced to endure long term treatment relates to a large number of occasions in which British people are faced with language comprehension which leads to great confusion.
    Declare the NHS bankrupt! Introduce a similar system but run and managed as it originally was, but alongside Private Healthcare to help support the new system. All senior management and administrative staff should be medically trained and capable of doubling up on duties in emergencies. Employ more British staff and train them on the wards as opposed to Universities. Allow the more talented to progress in their career. Those, or and their families, who have been paying in to the system for a minimum of twenty years should be allowed free healthcare, everyone else should have to pay to obtain healthcare. There is no profitable business in the private sector that would be organised in such an inefficient manner, it is time to completely overhaul the system.

  55. adam
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    When did Tv news become permanent lobby arm for Socialist causes? All i hear are living wage campaigners and socialist workers protests, NHS’s funding crises and anti austerity campaigners. None of this is actual news

  56. gyges01
    Posted July 5, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    Hi John

    I don’t know if you’ll have time to read this particularly since I provide a link to an academic paper; nevertheless, … it isn’t about pay it is about the cost of housing. At the moment housing cost is the major cause of impoverishment (wealth transfer from poor to rich) in the UK.

    Constantinou, A. C., & Fenton, N. (2017). The future of the London Buy-To-Let property market: Simulation with temporal Bayesian Networks. PLoS ONE, 12(6): e0179297,

  57. margaret
    Posted July 11, 2017 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I have lived my life as a Nurse and can only now, due to anger, add my contribution I started in 1968 as a student Nurse , have worked as staff Nurse in many posts, Sister, Agency Nurse in all aspects of primary and secondary care, have worked a s a lecturer , practice Nurse and Nurse Practitioner. I have seen the changing attitudes. I have seen, Nurses taking daily responsibility for lives with folks (whilst administering live saving drugs and watching every breath ready to act and save a life) saying that all Nurses do is stand around at the station or wash bottoms. We smile and soldier on. I have watched Nurses studying daily, taking degrees, running units, possessing knowledge at times far superior to any consultant and letting them take the pay and the glory. We just smile and soldier on.
    I am lucky to have trained at a time when Nurses ran hospitals and our then vocation was about making lives bearable, comforting suffering and doing everything possible to help others. We didn’t think of the pay, we simply learned and learned and brought together every fragment of knowledge for our cause. In the first few years of my qualification , I helped open two Coronary Care Units. Many used to die in their 30’s of heart conditions. We did not have many peri -arrest drugs , but we stared at those monitors day and night observing all the electrical activity of every individual , we marvelled at the beauty of the rhythm of the heart and its individual music, we understood about people.
    Today I am glad to use all my clinical knowledge as a Nurse Practitioner ( We act as cheap Drs,( with a mountain of capability ) . I am still glad to help . For reasons of confidentiality I cannot disclose any details, however it goes on; lives literally saved every day due to understanding what is happening. This is Nursing.
    I did not for one instance think about money , but today women need mortgages and have to bring children up on their own.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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