March 17th, 2012


Interesting Links for 17-03-2012

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obey the penguin

In which I agree with George Osborne, but not for the reason he'd like

There are currently a lot of rumours going around that in next week's budget announcement there will be an end to national pay scales for nurses and teachers*.

I am in favour of this change.

However, I am not in favour of this because I think that nurses in Yorkshire are paid too much. I think that the nurses in London are not being paid enough.

There's a study from 2008 that shows that when private nurses in an are paid significantly more than the NHS nurses then the NHS hospitals are unable to make use of a stable body of nurses, and are instead dependent on agency staff, with all sorts of negative consequences**.

So I would like to see the local health authorities paying the wages necessary in their area to get the staff they need***, rather than paying a centrally set wage, and in that I'm in agreement with George Osborne. I just rather think that in order to provide a good quality health service it's probably going to cost more rather than less.

*At the moment there is a standard set of pay grades across the country, meaning that nurses in urban Kent and nurses in rural Yorkshire are paid the same amount. There is an additional weighting just for London, but that's the only regional variance. As the various costs of living (particularly housing) vary dramatically across the country this means that, effectively, people in some areas are paid better than in others.
**Here - "if the private wage is 10% higher in one area than another, the death rate is 4-5% higher."
***I suspect that we'd continue to have pay scales, but that they would be set regionally, rather than nationally.

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