Practice managers should expect pay demands from practice nurses after The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) urged them to take action.
Following the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC) announcement that practice staff and salaried GPs will receive a 6% pay award for 2023/24, the RCN has advised members who are practice nurses to ensure their employer pays it to them as soon as possible.
In a statement, the RCN, which is a union and professional body, said it is ‘clear that salaried GP nursing staff should receive a pay rise of 6% in line with the full value of this pay uplift, and it should be implemented as soon as possible and backdated to April 2023.’
Practice managers may receive a letter from their nursing staff after the RCN created a letter template for those who have not yet had confirmation of a pay increase to use.
The purpose of the letter is to seek clarification and ensure practice nurses receive the pay rise, the RCN said.
The letter, addressing the manager, includes the following: ‘I trust, that as my employer, you will ensure that I receive the 6% increase to my salary, and backdated pay from April 2023, in full and as soon as possible?
‘I am very happy to discuss this further if needed but I do consider that I am entitled to this. Therefore, I hope the matter can be resolved without recourse to any formal process.’
It adds: ‘Please can you confirm when the increase and backdated pay will be paid at your earliest convenience’.
In mid-July, the Government said practices in England would receive a funding uplift for 2023/24, via the GP contract and backdated to April, to cover the pay rise for all salaried practice staff who provide NHS services. GP partners are excluded from the 6% pay deal as they remain tied to the five-year funding deal agreed in 201, it said.
The Government said it expected this uplift would be ‘passed on promptly to all general practice staff’.
But it also acknowledged: ‘As self-employed contractors to the NHS, it is for GP practices to determine uplifts in pay for their employees.’
RCN England Director Patricia Marquis said the nurses’ body was ‘determined’ that practice nurses received their pay award ‘promptly and in full’. She said the RCN will support its members ‘to secure this if your employer does not guarantee it.’
She added: ‘The fight for fair pay for nursing across all NHS and non-NHS settings continues.’
Meanwhile, the BMA is seeking confirmation from the Government on whether additional funding promised for practices to be able to afford a 6% staff pay rise this year will be ‘recurrent’.
The BMA GP Committee for England’s acting chair Dr Kieran Sharrock has written to BMA members saying the 6% uplift is ‘below inflation’ and ‘does not go far enough’ to help retention of staff.