Protest to be held in Sheffield as 'demoralised nurses' leave the NHS due to pay freeze

A rally held by the Royal College of Nursing. Picture: RCN
A rally held by the Royal College of Nursing. Picture: RCN
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'Demoralised' nurses in South Yorkshire are quitting the NHS after seven years without a  proper pay rise.

'Demoralised' nurses in South Yorkshire are quitting the NHS after seven years without a proper pay rise.

The Royal College of Nursing said health care professionals in the region have effectively taken a 14 per cent pay cut since 2010 after the Government implemented a cap on public sector pay.

The RCN claim the move has left staff 'out of pocket' with many leaving the NHS altogether. Figures collated by the union show hospitals in Yorkshire and the Humber have nine per cent of vacancies unfilled.

RCN Council member and Yorkshire and Humber nurse Anne Kennedy said: “Nurses don’t tend to get political but we’ve had enough. Food, housing and other day to day costs are rising and rising but our pay is practically static. Staff on the wards and out in the community feel undervalued and demoralised.

“People are not signing up to study nursing and many are leaving. This cannot continue. It’s dangerous for patient care and it’s unsustainable.

"We're now asking members of the public to join us and show support for this campaign to get the pay cap lifted. Come and find us on the day in Sheffield or get in touch with your MP about this.”

A Royal College of Nursing survey of members in May showed that 9 in 10 would support industrial action if the pay cap is not scrapped. The RCN is coordinating a ‘summer of protest’ before a formal legal ballot on industrial action is opened later in the year.

The pay rise cap for public sector workers has been in place since 2012 and is expected to remain until at least 2018/19.

Members and staff will gather at Weston Park between 12 -2pm close to the museum/art gallery to ask passers-by and MPs to support their campaign.

The Government has previously said they would be responding to independent pay review bodies.