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Thursday 10 February 2022

Significant NHS pay rise vital for managing our way out of the crisis, MiP tells review body

By MiP

trolley in busy hospital corridor

NHS managers need to see “significant workforce interventions” – including an inflation-busting pay rise for NHS staff – if they are to manage the staffing crisis in the NHS and lead the service’s recovery from the pandemic, MiP has told the NHS Pay Review Body.

In written evidence submitted last month, MiP said: “Holding onto staff… as well as attracting new staff, has never been more important. Without significant workforce policy interventions on recruitment and retention, including on pay, we endanger both the ongoing response to the pandemic and the recovery, which may take until the end of the decade. In short, the quality of care will suffer.”

MiP’s evidence, focusing on the position of managers, was submitted alongside joint evidence from the NHS trade unions. Both the government and NHS Employers failed to submit evidence by the January deadline. 

“It’s disappointing that not all the parties put in their evidence on time,” said MiP chief executive Jon Restell. “Timing is important. There are big rises to the cost of living coming in April – we don’t want to be in the same position as last year, when some NHS staff didn’t get their pay award until October.”

MiP’s own evidence offered an important perspective to the review body “as MiP members can speak both as employees themselves and as managers on behalf of their teams,” Restell explained.

“Staffing shortages are a top-three cause of higher workloads for managers,” he added. “These workloads mean managers are working long, intense hours. Higher workloads, longer hours and other pressures are affecting the wellbeing and mental health of our members.” 

MiP’s evidence referred to the results of a survey last November, which found that  79% of MiP members now expected to work in the evenings, 44% at the weekend and 29% even while on holiday. An astonishing 60% of members in the survey reported suffering from mental health problems as a result of workplace pressures, including stress, ‘burn-out’, anxiety, depression, insomnia and exhaustion. 

MiP’s evidence called for two specific interventions to support managers, including the extension of overtime payments to managers in Agenda for Change Bands 8 and 9. The union said denying overtime pay to managers had “created a culture in which management hours don’t count” and gave employers little incentive to ensure management workloads were reasonable.

MiP also called for a review of the management pay system to ensure it “supports the recruitment, retention and motivation of managers and the development of management careers”. The union said the review should focus particularly on the disincentives to promotion from band 7 to band 8A across both clinical and non-clinical jobs.

MiP is planning to carry out a further survey of members in the next few weeks. The results will be submitted as supplementary evidence to the review body.

  • Keep an eye on your email inbox for the MiP’s next big survey of members, due to be sent out in late February or early March. The results will help MiP to provide compelling evidence to the review body and negotiate effectively with employers at national and local level.

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