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Labour Party hints it will remove cap on GP pay increases

The Labour Party will scrap the year-on-year 1% cap on pay for NHS staff if it wins the general election in June.

The party said this comes after NHS workers have suffered 'seven years of neglect' under the last two governments.

Asked by Pulse, a spokesperson said that the pledge would also be likely to benefit GPs.

He said that although the pledge related to staff employed by the NHS, it would affect the uplift negotiated for GPs.

He said: 'It would have a knock-on effect on the GP contract.'

This comes as successive governments have negotiated GP contractual uplifts intended to translate to no more than a 1% increase in GP partner take-home pay.

Labour said its policy would see:

  • 'Pay increased to a sustainable level which reflects the complexity of the work carried out';
  • 'Safe staffing levels put into law so that finances never take precedence over patient safety';
  • 'Fully funded education which prepares our NHS staff to be the best in the world'.

Speaking at the Unison Health Conference in Liverpool, Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth will say that NHS staff are 'ignored, insulted, undervalued, overworked and underpaid' by the current Government.

He will say that a Labour-led Government 'will legislate to ensure safe staffing levels in England', and 'will ask NICE to undertake work to set out how safety can be determined in different settings'.

It will also ask NICE to 'assess whether there are healthcare settings that would benefit from legally enforced staffing ratios'.

Mr Ashworth will say that 'by bringing in a new law to make safe staffing legally enforceable, Labour will ensure that finances never again take precedence over patient safety'.

He will add: 'Safe staffing levels will be a priority for a Labour Government. After seven years of Tory mismanagement our health services are dangerously understaffed.

'We are thousands short on the numbers of nurses, midwives, GPs and paramedics that we need.'

BMA chair Dr Mark Porter said: 'NHS staff will be encouraged by this understanding of the damaging impact on their morale from the years of real terms pay cuts and ongoing pay restraint that have led to vacant posts, understaffing and rota gaps.'

He said: 'The NHS clearly does need more staff – there is a chronic shortage of GPs as well as doctors working in areas such as acute and emergency medicine. Fewer junior doctors are applying to train in key medical specialities across the board.

'At a time when GPs are unable to keep up with the number of patients coming through the surgery door and hospital doctors are working under impossible conditions, politicians must outline how they will address the £30bn funding gap in the NHS.

'Tackling this issue head on is absolutely vital if we are to provide the NHS that delivers the high-quality care patients deserve.'

Readers' comments (28)

  • THE TORIES WILL NOT ACCEPT THE FACTS....THAT MARKET FORCES ARE DAMAGING PATIENT CARE.
    QUITE SIMPLY, THEY BELIEVE THAT THERE IS NO "LOWER LIMIT" TO HOW FAR THEY CAN SQUEEZE NHS WORKERS.
    THE MEDIA CAMPAIGN TO "BRAINWASH" THE GENERAL PUBLIC ABOUT NHS WORKERS BEING LAZY, STUPID, OVERPAID AND UNDERWORKED CAN ONLY TAKE THE TORIES SO FAR BEFORE THE WHOLE NHS UNRAVELS.

    TO BE HONEST, MANY NHS WORKERS FEEL THAT THE NHS IS RUINING THEIR LIVES AND MAKING THEM ILL AND NHS WORKERS ARE HUMAN BEINGS TOO.
    IT WILL ALL END IN TEARS AND THE ONLY LOSERS WILL BE THE GENERAL PUBLIC.

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  • It's a shame they're never going to be elected

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  • @10:12- I would still vote for them as the lot lesser of the two evils we have to choose from. It's a shame really that we think they won't be elected. Time to mutter to patients that you're going to vote Labour as it's probably the only thing that can now save NHS. Don't get into arguments just state a view with a casual remark of worsening health service. This is just expressing your hope you can provide better care - see what a difference it makes to the results!

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  • Lets all vote labour and get a 1.5% pay rise ! Excuse me but where is the money going to come from Mr Corbyn, i suspect the rich which is us i suppose so we will actually be worse off as you will tax us more ! Debate over i think

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  • ..and then take it in tax?

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  • May=Hunt=Stevens=Cameron - any further arguments are welcome. If you love Hunt the way most medicos have professed to do over the last few years, you'll understand that love for labour is not going to be lost.

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  • Government printed magic beans for all!

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  • Vinci Ho

    Mmmm
    Interesting to see Labour trying a strategy of 'what the Tories are not doing' when Aunt May is selling herself as the 'strong and stable' leadership , reiterating this sound bite in her visit in Wales.
    Putting aside the fact one may not want to 'dream' Corbyn as a PM , this is more about playing on the 'certainties and unpredictability' of any general election and opposition parties actually have got a lot they can put in their manifesto , even in such a short space of time . Labour started off last week with guaranteeing unilaterally the residency of EU citizens already in UK now and they appeared to talk sensibly about NHS this week.Yet to hear from Lib Dem about their proposals for domestic issues as their party leader is still trying to disentangle himself from this silly debate about whether he is against homosexuality because of his religious faith .
    Bottom line here is these announcements about domestic issues , at least ,are putting the Tories on spot to give responses rather than just sitting comfortably on a 20 points lead in the polls .
    Brexit is allegedly the main issue for this general election or is it the only issue?
    Do not take your eyes off as this story unfolds as well as the by election on 4/5 and of course the final round of French Election) Juncker and Barnier are also coming to Town soon and they are not stupid who they can 'use' as friends against their 'foes'.
    Fascinating politics......

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  • This is great news. Normally a tory voter, but now I will cast my vote for JC. With this pay lift and the promise to tax those earning over 70k at the highest rate, this will encourage me to drop to two days a week, its a win, win ,win situation for me. Let the fools working full time fund my health and social services and pension (which I decide to take earlier and earlier with every new government policy).

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