Only one in 10 practices have embraced Agenda for Change (AfC), a recent salary survey for nurses in general practice has indicated.
In the survey, conducted by www.practicenursing.co.uk, only 57% of respondents received a cost of living rise in 2008. Furthermore, just 27% received an annual incremental rise an important part of the AfC initiative adopted by the NHS.
Commenting on the survey, Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the Royal College of Nursing, said: “It’s disappointing to hear yet again that the hard work and expertise of nurses and healthcare assistants in general practice is still not being adequately remunerated.
“It’s worrying that a substantial number of those surveyed did not receive an incremental raise or a cost of living increase, particularly as nurses have taken on an increased amount of the general practice workload since contract changes in 2004.
“Although practice nursing offers more flexible working arrangements than the NHS, the government is going to have to rely heavily on general practice nurses to deliver future reforms and improvements to patient care. When you consider that one in five nurses in general practice are over 55, it is essential that general practice nurses are rewarded appropriately.”
Bernie Campbell of practicenursing.co.uk said: “It is clear from the survey that general practices are ignoring AfC. There is concern within the practice nursing community that their pay is losing touch with the rest of the NHS.”