Health secretary commences 2018-19 pay round

By Julie Griffiths on 08 December 2017 Secretary of State for Health NHS Pay Review Body

The secretary of state for health Jeremy Hunt has today (7 December) formally commenced the 2018-19 pay round for all NHS staff, including midwives.

In a letter written to the chair of the NHS Pay Review Body (PRB) Philippa Hird, the health secretary set out the remit from the Department of Health to the NHS PRB for the pay round for the financial year 2018 to 2019.

RCM director for policy, employment relations and communications Jon Skewes said that the need to fund fair pay for NHS staff is now well overdue.

He said: ‘Seven years of pay restraint has seen the value of pay of the average midwife drop by over £6600 since 2010. When the RCM submits its evidence to the PRB we will show the drastic impact this has had on midwives and MSWs and the impact this has on the service and care they provide.’

Jon stressed how England still remains 3500 full-time midwives short and he highlighted the results of an RCM survey that found 80% of midwives who are considering leaving midwifery would stay if they had a fair pay rise.

He added: ‘The RCM together with other NHS trade unions are calling for a pay rise in line with RPI inflation (3.9%) and an additional uplift of £800 to restore the loss of pay over the past seven years of pay restraint.

‘We welcome the commitment made by the Chancellor in the budget to fund a pay rise for midwives, MSWs and other NHS staff following an agreement reached in negotiations between employers and the RCM and other NHS trade unions. We think that there are ways the pay structure can be improved and made fairer, but we are clear that it is entirely unacceptable to ask midwives and other NHS staff to fund their own pay increase through cuts to their terms and conditions.’

Jon said that anything less than a fair pay rise at a time of increasing staffing shortages in the NHS is reckless.

‘Existing NHS staff need to be retained in the service and new staff need to be recruited and this will only be done with fair pay that values the incredible work that midwives, MSWs and other NHS staff do every day. We cannot afford to see more midwives pushed out of the profession and the shortage increase even further. We need our NHS staff more than ever because ultimately, investment in NHS staff is an investment in high quality, safe NHS care,’ said Jon.

Access the pay review body remit letters from Jeremy Hunt 2018 to 2019 here.