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Growing pay costs threaten NHS efforts to maintain quality and workforce numbers, says submission to pay review body 

Growing financial pressures are leaving employers increasingly concerned about the cost of the present national pay and conditions. Restraining pay bill costs will be essential to minimise potential job losses and protect patient services.

Payroll and accountsThis is according to evidence submitted by the NHS Employers organisation today to the NHS Pay Review Body for the 2012/13 pay round.

Despite the Government’s two year pay freeze across all staff, employers face an upward pressure on their paybill costs of 2.4 per cent. This is a combination of a two per cent annual increase resulting from annual pay increments given to nurses, administrators and other non-medical staff under the national Agenda for Change pay arrangement, plus a further 0.4 per cent increase which will arise as a result of implementing the £250 uplift recommended by the Government to be paid to staff earning under £21,000.

Dean Royles, director of the NHS Employers organisation, said:

“All NHS organisations are facing up to some difficult decisions as they seek to deliver efficiencies on an unprecedented scale of up to £20 billion by 2014/15. The pay bill for health trusts is often nearly 70 percent of their budget and even during the Government’s pay freeze there is an upward pressure on their paybill costs of 2.4 per cent. Tight control of staff costs will be necessary if the service is to minimise potential job losses and ensure patients continue to have access to high quality services.

"Employers are very concerned about the cost of the pay bill. As the NHS Employers organisation we are keen to continue discussions with trade unions on the NHS Staff Council about the scope for negotiated changes to the national pay agreements to make them more affordable and flexible.

"We also believe it is essential that local employers have meaningful discussions with local trade unions and staff about the workforce implications of the financial challenges for their organisations.”

Notes to Editors

• The full submission is available at:
• An experienced nurse, on Agenda for Change band 6, working a regular shift pattern in A&E can earn between £38-40,000 per annum.
• The NHS Employers organisation is the voice of employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first. See for more information.

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Mike Foster

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