NHS staff in England have suffered real pay cuts of up to £ 2,949 over the past decade, according to new research by a leading health think tank.
Adjusted for inflation, nurses and medical sales representatives ‘salaries fell by £ 1,583, doctors’ salaries by £ 779 and midwives by £ 1,813. However, scientific, therapeutic and technical personnel suffered the biggest reduction – by £ 2,949.
The findings are contained in a Health Foundation analysis of official data on NHS staff income spanning the 10 years from March 2011 to March this year. They come amid a growing row over the government’s decision to give most NHS workers in England a 3% pay rise for this year and the possibility of health unions undertaking a industrial action after evaluating the point of view of their members.
Some NHS staff have seen their incomes rise in real terms since 2011. The Health Foundation has found that ambulance workers now earn £ 2,767 more, while NHS infrastructure staff earn an average of £ 645 and those in who support clinical staff got a small £ 63. get up.
Overall, however, the 1.2 million hospital and community service workers are £ 462 a year worse off than they were in 2011. This reflects a decade in which most pay frozen.
For example, the salary of nurses and midwives has increased in nominal terms, or title, by £ 4,044 over the past decade, but after adjusting for inflation it has fallen in real terms by £ 1,583. . The Royal College of Nursing responded to the 3% offer by warning that “the profession will not accept this in vain”, and is likely to vote among its members on possible industrial action.
Likewise, while the overall income of doctors – both the 61,000 trainees and the 51,000 consultants – increased by £ 10,136, after adjusting for inflation, it fell by £ 779. For consultants alone, while their remuneration increased by £ 10,712 (11%), it is £ 5,537 (6%) less in real terms than in 2011.
Professor Anita Charlesworth, research director of the think tank and its Real Center, which undertook the analysis, said: “This week’s pay offer for NHS staff is higher than initially offered, but it follows a decade of government pay withholding to balance NHS budgets.
“After accounting for inflation, the pay cuts are particularly evident for nurses and health visitors, midwives, and scientific, therapeutic and technical personnel. Some groups have seen real increases in their base salaries, including ambulance staff (around £ 2,800) and infrastructure support staff (£ 600).
Nihar Shembavnekar, who undertook the analysis, used the consumer price index method to measure inflation in his calculations. He is a former Treasury labor market economist.
Meanwhile, a separate analysis released today by the GMB union found that the wages of NHS workers in England have declined to £ 9,000 over the past decade.
“Longtime cleaners have had over £ 1,000 pinched out of their pay each year, 999 call managers £ 3,500, nurses over £ 6,000 [and] midwives over £ 7,500, ”the union said. She based her calculations on the retail price index, the other way to gauge the rate of inflation.
Rehana Azam, the national secretary of the GMB, said the union would advise its members to reject the government’s “paltry” 3% offer.