The Government must provide additional funding if nurses working in GP practices are left without the 6% pay uplift they were promised, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has urged.
In a letter to primary care minister Neil O’Brien, the nursing union warned that thousands of nurses working across general practice risk being denied the full 6% because of the complex funding formula used to distribute the uplift.
Both organisations said that the recent pay increase ‘does not go far enough’ to address the current cost-of-living crisis, workforce attrition or employment term disparities.
The letter today stressed that general practice nurses are ‘already undervalued’ and that uncertainty over their pay uplift would ‘only compound this’, Pulse’s sister title Nursing in Practice reports.
In the summer, the Government announced that all salaried general practice staff in England, including nurses, should receive a 6% pay uplift.
The uplift will be backdated to April 2023 and it is down to the ‘responsibility of practices to decide on arrangements for staff salary uplifts’.
However, the RCN’s letter today highlighted concerns that nurses would be left without the 6% they are entitled to, and called on the Government to confirm the ‘status’ of nursing pay in general practice.
The union’s director for England Patricia Marquis wrote: ‘Nursing staff in general practice provide vital primary care to their local communities and are the bedrock of the services available in general practice surgeries.’
‘The RCN is unequivocal that all nursing staff working in general practice should receive the same 6% increase in pay as salaried GPs – as the government announced in July,’ she added.
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: ‘We are hugely grateful to GP nursing staff and their teams for the work they do.
‘Working closely with the British Medical Association, we accepted the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration’s recommendation in full to give salaried general practice staff a 6% pay rise backdated to April.
‘The GP contract has now been uplifted and we expect practices to pass this uplift onto salaried staff, including nurses.’
Earlier this month, GP partners criticised the outcome of the BMA’s negotiations with the Government, claiming that they would need to dip into their own pockets to pass on the full recommended 6% pay rise to staff.
However, the BMA defended the outcome, saying that securing the funding via the global sum meant it was secured as recurrent for future years.