RCM responds to Autumn budget

By Julie Griffiths on 22 November 2017 NHS Funding Pay and Agenda For Change NHS England

Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has announced extra NHS funding in the Autumn budget.

In his announcement he said he would give an extra £2.8bn to the NHS in England over the next three years, with an immediate cash injection of £350m this year for the winter period.

Another £1.6bn will be made available between 2018-19 and the remaining £850m between 2019-20.

The announcement also included a commitment to funding a pay rise for NHS midwives, nurses and paramedics, but only if wider pay reform negotiations are successfully concluded.

Commenting on the chancellor’s pledges RCM CEO Gill Walton said: ‘Along with other NHS unions the RCM has been talking about the pressing need for a pay rise for NHS staff to make up for years of pay freezes and stagnation.

‘The average midwife is £6000 worse off today than they were because of the effects of seven years of pay restraint in the NHS. We also believe the pay structure in the NHS can be improved.  

‘The chancellor’s commitment to fund the pay award that the NHS Pay Review Body will recommend for midwives, MSWs and other NHS staff is a positive step and shows that he and the government have taken what we are saying on board.  

‘It is essential that we retain the midwives we have and recruit new midwives into the profession, with services in England facing a serious and longstanding midwife shortage.

‘Last year, a survey by the RCM found that 80% of midwives who are intending to leave the NHS would stay if they had a pay rise. A fair and decent pay award, fully funded by the government is the key intervention the government can make to recruit, and retain, enough midwives to ensure there are enough staff to provide safe, high quality services for women and their families.    

‘The chancellor has given more money to the NHS but not enough to cope with demand. We would hope to see more money in the future so that our maternity services and the NHS have the investment needed.’