On 18th December a letter from Health Secretary Matt Hancock to the Chair of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) was published. In case you haven’t seen the letter, it can be found here.
This letter sets out how the government proposes working with the NHSPRB in relation to the 2021 to 2022 pay round and to formally begin the Review Body process.
The letter with its requests to take into consideration the country’s economic situation and emphasis on affordability seems to directly contradict the widespread praise and support for NHS workers.
NHS pay was due to be reviewed in 2021 as part of a three year pay deal previously set by the Government. With the arrival of Covid-19 and the associated demands on the NHS, many have called for nursing staff especially to be given an immediate increase in pay.
It seems however that these calls have not been heard in the corridors of power as Matt Hancock’s request to the NHSPRB says that he would welcome the report in May 2021. Even if the report is received in May, the process of awarding any pay increase would be time consuming and NHS staff would probably not expect any changes to their pay for quite some time.
As new strains of the Covid-19 virus appear and NHS staff continue to battle against a rising tide of cases, surely they should not have to wait to receive acknowledgement of their efforts?
Instead of clapping for carers, I have decided to write for carers. Today I will be writing a letter to both the chair of the NHSPRB and to Boris Johnson to request that this procedure be shortened and that NHS staff are given a pay rise as soon as possible. In the interim, there should be an immediate across the board increase of £100 per month for all frontline NHS staff.
It may not be much in the grand scheme of things, but for the price of a couple of stamps, if a significant number of people do the same, maybe we can show our support for our NHS in a more tangible way.