A key challenge had been resourcing within the NHS and the care industry throughout the pandemic and no doubt unless addressed will continue that way. Attracting and retaining quality people into caring and nursing careers was difficult before Covid, but it has been heightened during the pandemic and yet look how we all rely on those small band of brave, selfless, committed front line people. ‘Never have so many’ etc….The opportunity to recognise and reward those front line people at an equitable level to other professions is screaming at us right now.
It is timely therefore to act by adjusting the current Agenda for Change bandings for starting roles and condensing the grade steps. Let’s ensure that we offer attractive salaries to post A level/BTEC leavers as healthcare workers, associate nurses and trainees by recruiting in at absolute minimum of the current Band 4 starting salary and making pay progression available to the top of Band 5 within 5 years to be almost on par with graduate entry.
Graduate Nurses & Clinicians – commence at Band 6 again with grade steps condensed so that top of band rates achievable in 3-4 years instead of current 8 years plus.
For experienced nurses, clinicians and healthcare specialists in the community: Routinely reward at Band 7 with the top of the scale being reached within 5 years to retain/re-attract our qualified and experienced nurses and healthcare technicians as just reward for the need for tough work in hospitals, care homes and communities and the antisocial working hours the profession demands.
Finally, for highly skilled front line professionals delivering nursing, clinical and healthcare work of the highest quality we rely – remuneration at Band 8a – 8b should be typical, with 8c and 8d for additional responsibilities in nursing/clinical/healthcare management.