Nurses: Migrant Workers:Written question - 67121

Q
(Newcastle upon Tyne North)
[N]
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Asked on: 08 March 2017
Department of Health
Nurses: Migrant Workers
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Health, with reference to the Migration Advisory Committee's recommendation that nurses remain on the shortage occupation list, what assessment he has made of the effect of pay restraints on long-term retention and recruitment rates for NHS nurses.
A
Answered by: Mr Philip Dunne
Answered on: 13 March 2017

The independent NHS Pay Review Body (for Agenda for Change staff) and the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (employed doctors and general and medical and dental practitioners) have been in place for decades and are relied on by government and other stakeholders, for example, National Health Service trades unions, NHS Employers, NHS Providers, NHS Improvement, Health Education England, Health Education England, to consider all the written and oral evidence it receives and to make recommendations on the level of pay award that will enable the NHS to continue to recruit, retain and motivate the staff it needs.

The standing remits of both Pay Review Bodies requires it to consider the Government’s inflation target as part of a range of factors in reaching its recommendations:

- the need to recruit, retain and motivate suitably able and qualified staff;

- regional/local variations in labour markets and their effects on the recruitment and retention of staff;

- the funds available to the Health Departments, as set out in the Government’s Departmental Expenditure Limits;

- the Government’s inflation target;

- the principle of equal pay for work of equal value in the NHS;

- the overall strategy that the NHS should place patients at the heart of all it does and the mechanisms by which that is to be achieved;

- the Review Body may also be asked to consider other specific issues; and

- should take account of the legal obligations on the NHS, including anti-discrimination legislation regarding age, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion and belief, and disability.

The NHS Pay Review Body received evidence on the Migration Advisory Committee's recommendation that nurses remain on the shortage occupation list as part of its consideration for this year’s pay round and will be part of its consideration for the next annual pay round.

Both Pay Review Bodies received evidence on inflation forecasts as part of its consideration for this year’s pay round and will be part of its consideration for the next annual pay round.

Both Pay Review Bodies received evidence on agency spend for this year’s pay round and expect this to feature as part of its consideration for the next annual pay round.

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State introduced a series of radical measures to bring agency spending back under control in 2015, including price caps limiting the amount a trust can pay to an agency for temporary staff. The measures are working as of Quarter 3, 2016/17 the NHS had spent £1 billion less on agency staff than it was projected to had we not taken tough action to bring in controls on agency spending, with further savings forecast for the current financial year.

Both Pay Review Bodies set out very clearly its rationale for the 1% recommendation for 2016/17 which the Government accepted in full.

We have now received both reports for 2017/18, which we will consider very carefully and which we will publish in due course.

Grouped Questions: 67123 | 67122

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