A cautious welcome has been given by the Community Practitionersí and Health Visitorsí Association to the 3.7% increase in nurses pay for 2001-2002, announced by the Pay Review Body (PRB) today (Monday, 18 December)
The CPHVAís Director, Jackie Carnell said: "The Government is treading a tricky balancing act between trying to recruit and retain the nursing staff they need to ensure that the proposals in the NHS Plan come to fruition with the Treasuryís desire to keep inflation under control."
"While any increase over the current rate of inflation, however small, is to be warmly welcomed, I think ministers have erred on the side of caution. I donít think this increase will be enough to attract recruits in sufficient numbers into the profession, nor be an incentive to keep those thinking of leaving."
The CPHVA acknowledged the PRBís recognition that measures have to be introduced to retain senior nursing staff on the top of the scale grades F-I. However, this has been done by consolidating one of three discretionary points into the pay scale with the remaining two still open to discretion.
Ms Carnell described this as "an unsatisfactory half-way house". The CPHVA has never been in favour of discretionary points as it believes it to be divisive and unfair.
The CPHVA was pleased by the robust defence of the PRBís independence that is a feature of this report.
The CPHVA noted the 3.7% increase in London allowances and the Governmentís recently promised £1,000 supplement per nurse towards housing costs, but is worried that this is not enough to solve the key public sector worker housing crisis in the metropolis.
NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS
For further information, please contact:
Jackie Carnell - 07798 531017
Colin Adkins, MSF/NHS researcher - 020 7939 7095
Shaun Noble Press Officer - 020 7939 7043 or mobile 0468 693 940
CPHVA press releases can be seen on the CPHVA web site: http://www.msfcphva.org
The CPHVA is an autonomous professional section of the Manufacturing, Science and Finance union. The CPHVA represents 18,000 health visitors, school nurses, practice nurses and registered nurses working in the community in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.