General practice nurses are entitled to a 6% pay rise this year and should write to their employers if there is any uncertainty over whether they will receive it, the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has urged.
Earlier this month, on 13 July, the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) announced a pay increase for public sector workers between 5-7% in England. This included teachers, military staff, police officers, junior doctors, GPs, consultants and other public sector professionals.
“We have set our ambitions high and will be stepping up our campaign for the pay you deserve”
GPs were offered a 6% rise along with consultants, and a DHSC release detailing the deal stated that the award “is intended to cover all salaried practice staff,” not just the doctors.
The guidance reads: “The total value of the award for salaried practice staff in 2023-24 is 6%.”
DHSC also outlined that all rises are backdated to April 2023 to align with the start of the financial year, and that they will be implemented in the autumn.
In light of the announcement, the RCN has put together a letter template and is encouraging practice nursing staff to send one to their employer should they have any concerns about not being given the 6% increase.
This letter stresses that nursing staff are “entitled” to the full pay award and asks managers to confirm when it will be paid.
Addressing practice nurses, RCN England director Patricia Marquis said: “This pay award is recognition of your daily commitment to patients and the NHS.
“We’re determined to ensure you receive your pay award promptly and in full and will support you to secure this if your employer does not guarantee it.
“The fight for fair pay for nursing across all NHS and non-NHS settings continues. We have set our ambitions high and will be stepping up our campaign for the pay you deserve.”
This pay rise was announced as junior doctors from the British Medical Association (BMA) were striking nationally, alongside some nurses in Unite in London, and shortly before consultants were set to follow suit.
It fell short of the BMA’s request of a double figures pay rise in line with inflation, meaning the union remains in dispute with the government over pay.
The public sector pay award also sparked concern from some nursing representatives that Agenda for Change (AfC) staff had received a worse deal, although this is disputed by the government.
The latest AfC pay deal provided a 5% rise for 2023-24, plus a lump sum of between £1,655 and £3,789 to go on top of the average 4.75% pay rise in 2022-23.
The fact that primary care nurses and other nurses delivering NHS contracts were excluded from the lump sum also caused controversary.
In response to queries about the potential for further pay talks, DHSC’s fact sheet states: “No – the prime minister has been clear there will be no more talks on pay for this year.”