Anger at 'derisory' 1% pay rise for NHS workers

The Government has announced a 1% pay rise for NHS workers - an increase branded "derisory" by unions.

Ministers said they had accepted recommendations from Pay Review Bodies (PRB) for increases in the coming year for health workers including doctors, nurses, dentists, midwives and porters.

Unions warned the increase would see a staffing crisis in the NHS get worse if wages did not keep up with the cost of food and transport.

Christina McAnea, head of health at Unison, said: "This deal amounts to less than £5 a week for most midwives, nurses, cleaners, paramedics, radiographers and other healthcare staff.

"It's a derisory amount in the face of soaring fuel bills, rising food prices and increasing transport costs.

"Without the cash to hold on to experienced employees, the NHS staffing crisis will worsen as people leave for less stressful, better rewarded jobs elsewhere."

Rehana Azam, from the GMB union, said: "Public sector workers desperately need a real pay rise, not the miserly and cruel decision being imposed on them by the Government.

"Theresa May talks about helping those who are 'just about managing', but it's clear that she doesn't include over five million public sector workers."

The Royal College of Midwives said midwives have seen their pay drop in value by more than £6,000 since 2010.

Janet Davies, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the announcement was a "bitter blow" to nursing staff across England.

She said: "The Government will deter new people from joining the nursing profession at the very moment it is failing to retain staff and European colleagues in particular head for the door."

A Department of Health spokesman said: "The dedication and sheer hard work of our NHS staff is absolutely crucial to delivering world-class care for patients.

"We are pleased to announce that all NHS staff will receive a 1% pay increase."