Pay rise for nurses in 2010/11 to escape review

Fears that the 2.25% pay rise for nurses in 2010/11 could be scrapped have eased after the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) said it would not seek to revisit the deal.

A PRB statement on 10 December said there had been ‘significant and material change' in the economy since the deal was announced in 2008.

But the pay deal, struck between unions and the DoH, specified that annual rises should not be altered unless there was ‘new evidence of a significant and material change in recruitment in the NHS' in addition to economic changes.

‘It follows that we cannot seek a remit from the secretary of state to review the pay increase contained in the agreement between the parties for 2010/11,' the PRB statement said.

However, the statement adds that the decision not to revisit the deal ‘does not mean that we endorse the increase'.

It adds that the terms of the three-year pay deal ‘provided very limited discretion for us to consider whether a review is necessary, even in the sharply changed economic circumstances that currently exist'.

The statement continues: ‘It has not, for example, allowed us to consider the full range of issues, such as affordability.'

Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: ‘We welcome the news that the pay increase agreed as part of the multi-year deal for 2010/11 will be honoured. Good quality patient care depends on having motivated staff who feel valued - fair pay is an important factor in this.'

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