healthcare unionsHealthcare unions have expressed their anger and disappointment at the Government’s failure to deal with the public sector pay cap.

The 17 healthcare unions, which include the British Dental Association (BDA), claim health staff are angry ministers haven’t promised not to interfere with pay review bodies and any recommendations they might make.

They also claim that another year of pay restraint is ‘wholly unacceptable’, believing it will cause long-lasting damage to the healthcare system.

NHS pay cap

These calls come after healthcare unions wrote to the Prime Minister before the Queen’s Speech calling for a stop to the NHS pay restraint.

This was followed by an invitation to the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to hold a summit to discuss the NHS pay crisis, which the unions believe is having a severe effect on recruitment and retention of staff across the UK.

The unions will now be submitting evidence to pay review bodies to highlight the loss in value in pay experienced by NHS staff and employees since the pay cap was introduced in 2010.

2017/18 pay rise

Earlier this year NHS England awarded dentists a pay rise of 1% for 2017/18, after recommendation by the DDRB.

At the time the BDA slammed the rise as ‘devastating’, saying it failed to address the real-terms drop in earnings of 35% since 2006.

‘At the same time that child tooth extractions are surging, the government seems intent on making NHS dentistry unsustainable,’ Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, the BDA’s chair of General Dental Practice, said at the time.

‘Dentists have seen a 35% drop in earnings in the past 10 years.

‘This uplift does nothing to address – let alone reverse – a drop that’s already impacting on our ability to deliver the improvements in facilities, equipment, and training our patients deserve. 

‘We’re living in uncertain times with the fall in the value of the pound, the rise in the cost of materials and the spiralling costs of regulatory compliance, and all compounded by the chronic underinvestment in NHS dentistry.

‘This is a devastating blow for dentists’ morale; and these deep and sustained cuts have long ceased to be a question of “pay restraint” or “efficiency savings”.’