Responding to news that RCN members have voted to reject the NHS pay offer for nursing staff in England, BMA council chair, Professor Philip Banfield said:
"We support the nurses in their rejection of a derisory pay offer and stand by them in their ongoing campaign for fair pay, upcoming strike action and re-ballot. Doctors stand in solidarity with our nursing colleagues; like doctors, these committed professionals have borne the brunt of an understaffed and under-resourced health service, giving their all only to be greeted with repeated cuts to their pay.
"The blame for the current situation lies squarely at the door of this Government who should have made the nurses a reasonable pay offer – one which reflected their value and sought to remedy years of underpayment. As with junior doctors in England, the Health Secretary needs to get around the table with unions and commit to paying doctors and their colleagues properly for the invaluable work they do, or staff will continue to leave and the service will deteriorate further.
"The decision by NHS Unison members to accept their pay offer will afford some relief to those who have struggled long and hard to get the pay they need, but it is clearly not at a level they truly deserve. We must do all we can to retain staff and recruit to the NHS, and protect patient care.”
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.