G overnment Welcomes RCN ‘Yes Vote’

The vote in favour of the Agenda for Change initiative by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has been described as ‘welcome and encouraging’ by the government health minister, John Hutton, today. He also praised the work of senior RCN officials for their work in gaining the positive result.

'It is a tribute to the leadership and courage of the Royal College that they have secured this support from their members. I want particularly to congratulate Beverly Malone who has made improved pay and working practices for nurses a personal priority since she became general secretary,’ Mr. Hutton commented.

‘It is a positive vote for reform by NHS nurses to accompany the positive commitment of resources to the NHS by the Government. As we have always said: investment and reform in the health service go hand-in-hand.’

Department of Health

Press Release: Tuesday, 15th April

JOHN HUTTON WELCOMES RCN YES VOTE FOR AGENDA FOR CHANGE

Responding to the RCN yes vote for Agenda for Change, Health Minister
John Hutton, said:

'The result of the Royal College of Nursing ballot on Agenda for
Change is both welcome and encouraging. It is a positive vote for
reform by NHS nurses to accompany the positive commitment of
resources to the NHS by the Government. As we have always said:
investment and reform in the health service go hand-in-hand.

'In exchange for a new fairer pay system and better career
opportunities nurses have voted for reformed working practices and
new responsibilities designed to improve the quality of care patients
receive. We are determined to ensure the commitment of NHS staff to
NHS patients is reflected in the fairer system of NHS pay which
Agenda for Change brings.

'It is a tribute to the leadership and courage of the Royal College
that they have secured this support from their members. I want
particularly to congratulate Beverly Malone who has made improved pay
and working practices for nurses a personal priority since she became
General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing and RCN council who
encouraged RCN members to accept Agenda for Change.

'If agreed, Agenda for Change will be applied to all parts of the
NHS: from Primary Care Trusts to NHS Foundation Trusts and other NHS
Trusts. Agenda for Change is a nationally agreed pay system with
local flexibility and, as with all the new NHS contracts we have
sought, it is a something-for-something deal based on the more you do
the more you get.

'It is precisely this approach which the RCN members have endorsed
today. I congratulate them on so doing.'

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