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Long overdue payments for nursing staff delivering NHS care | News

Members striking for fair pay

The RCN has responded to the announcement that more than 27,000 health care workers who provide publicly funded care in England are set to receive 2 one-off payments worth between £1,655 and £3,789. We’ve acknowledged this progress as “a huge leap forward” but say waiting so long to receive the payments has added “insult to injury” to hardworking nursing staff.

Last year, NHS staff on Agenda for Change contracts received 2 one-off payments in addition to a 5% pay uplift. But the government did not make funding available for the one-off payments for staff working on dynamic Agenda for Change contracts – those delivering NHS care but employed by, for example, charities, local authorities and social enterprises.

In November 2023, the government launched a process through which eligible non-NHS organizations could apply for funding to help deliver the one-off payments. However, the process was complex, leading to delays and confusion.

The process was simplified at the eleventh hour. Now, a range of health care staff, including community nurses and other frontline staff working in non-NHS organisations, will receive the long overdue payments.

The RCN has pressed the government to ensure the value of these payments are the same as those afforded to nursing staff directly employed by the NHS, which were paid last year.

RCN Director for England Patricia Marquis said staff members delivering NHS care deserve the same treatment as those on Agenda for Change contracts.

“After a year of campaigning, this progress is a huge leap forward,” he said. “Nursing staff providing publicly funded care, on whatever contracts, must be paid for this award. Waiting for 12 months added insult to injury and the Department of Health and Social Care must learn to never repeat this.”

The Department of Health and Social Care said the payments set out to recognize the vital role of health care workers at social enterprises, charities, private providers and local authorities, and acknowledge the role of health care workers in cutting waiting lists.

The RCN will continue to press the government for a long-term solution to avoid delays of this nature in the future. Nursing staff should not have to wait for fair financial rewards.

The RCN continues to fight for general practice nursing staff in England to receive the 6% pay rise they were promised.

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