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October 26, 2012

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Increased stress is harming nurses’ morale, survey reveals

NHS staff are struggling under the burden of increased workloads and stress, with a third very seriously considering leaving their job.

These are among the key findings from the NHS Staff Side Evidence to the Pay Review Body report, issued by unions, including the Royal College of Nursing. The report paints a picture of job losses, a two-year pay freeze and budget cuts – with many NHS employees now working unpaid overtime to fill the gaps in service provision caused by government cuts.

NHS Staff Side wants the Pay Review Body to recommend raising NHS salaries to a level that both protects their real value against inflation and begins to redress the cut in earnings that staff have suffered in the last two years.

Christina McAnea, chair of Staff Side, said: “The NHS workforce is committed to providing high-quality patient care and contributing to improving service delivery and efficiency savings. Not only does the Government’s policy of pay restraint risk damaging morale and motivation, it also encroaches on the independence of the Pay Review Body itself.”

A joint Staff Side survey of 34,000 NHS workers, undertaken by Incomes Data Services, found that two thirds believe morale in the organisation is worse than a year ago, compared with 55 per cent in 2010. This drop in morale is attributed to several factors, including increased workplace stress, NHS restructuring, changes to pension entitlements and the falling value of take-home pay. 

McAnea added: “This evidence shows the strains that government cuts to the NHS are placing on the workforce and on delivering high-quality patient care. We want to see the Pay Review Body make a recommendation that reflects the hard work and commitment of all NHS staff.”

Download the report at: www.rcn.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0019/482230/PRB_report.pdf

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