GP pay freeze could hit practice nurse salaries

Nurse leaders fear a freeze on GP income means many practice nurses will not see a salary rise in 2008/9.

Kate Howie, chair of the RCN Practice Nurse Association, said: ‘If practice income doesn't go up there is a real danger that practice nurses won't see a pay rise.'

However, she added that if GPs were good employers they would honour the nationally agreed deal for NHS staff and pay their nurses accordingly. 

‘GPs have had a good deal over the past two or three years. The only way they are able to deliver, and earn what they do, is by having a great nursing team,' she said.

Ms Howie said it was appalling that practice nurse salaries had dropped 9 per cent over the past three years, while GP pay had rocketed. She added that practice nurses should fall under the NHS Pay Review Body's recommendations. 

RCN primary care adviser Lynn Young agreed there was ‘no guarantee for nurse salaries'. She said securing a pay rise was down to ‘persuading GPs that it is in the interest of the practice that nurses are adequately and appropriately rewarded'.

emma.bower@haymarket.com

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For more on nurse pay see this week's issue of Independent Nurse.

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