Responding to the government's acceptance of the Pay Review Body's recommendation of a pay increase for public sector workers Matthew Taylor, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said:
“Health leaders will welcome the clarity on what the pay rises for doctors will be this year and that the government has honoured the recommendations from the independent pay review body. However, unless this increase is funded in full, this announcement does nothing more than wield an axe to the NHS’s already constrained budget and potentially allow industrial action to disrupt patient care for the foreseeable future.
“The government cannot say that it is committed to cutting waiting lists and supporting the NHS’s workforce and then not give the NHS the investment it needs to support the new pay award.
“This is an entirely contradictory view, which will put the NHS in an unsustainable position. The decision could cost the NHS in England hundreds of millions this year and potentially billions next, while the service has already committed to incredibly stretching financial and performance targets.
“If health leaders are expected to raid their own budgets to somehow plug this funding gap at local levels, it will almost certainly result in cutbacks to patient care elsewhere.
“We understand that the economy continues to be in a very challenged situation but with waiting lists growing and ill-health rising, the government must reconsider its decision on funding this pay deal for the NHS. If not, it must be honest about the serious repercussions that this will have on what the NHS will be able to deliver, including the fact that the PM’s pledge to reduce waiting lists now rests on a knife edge.”
We are the membership organisation that brings together, supports and speaks for the whole healthcare system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The members we represent employ 1.5 million staff, care for more than 1 million patients a day and control £150 billion of public expenditure. We promote collaboration and partnership working as the key to improving population health, delivering high-quality care and reducing health inequalities.