16 January 2013
RCN: regional pay is ‘a fool’s economy’
07 09 2012 | Frontline First
The RCN has published a briefing showing the likely effect of moves towards regional pay in the south west of England.
As debate increases over the likely impact of moving away from national agreement on terms and conditions, 20 trusts in the south west have formed a cartel in an attempt to set pay regionally. At the same time as the NHS in England has been tasked with saving £20billion, the trusts have paid £200,000 in total to join the cartel.
The RCN has warned that the move threatens the health care delivered to some of the UK’s most vulnerable patients, with the briefing showing the precarious nature of health care in the region and how trusts have already begun slashing jobs and services to meet financial targets.
RCN Chief Executive & General Secretary Dr Peter Carter said: “The cartel in the south west alleges that cutting terms and conditions of staff would save jobs. We say that is simply not true and what would actually happen is a skills drain as staff move away. Any trusts looking at such a draconian cost-cutting exercise should look again and think what this will mean to patient care.
“NHS organisations need to stop labouring under the illusion that regional pay is a panacea to their financial troubles. It is not. This would be a fool’s economy. It is the wrong solution to the challenges these trusts are facing.”
The RCN will write to the NHS trusts involved in the cartel setting out the College’s concerns.
In response to proposals for regional pay in the NHS the RCN has said this would:
- exacerbate inequalities and harm patient care
- be bureaucratic and expensive for local trusts to implement
- lack economies of scale which would take money away from patient care
- result in a skills drain with staff moving away from lower paid areas.