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Volume 24: debated on Tuesday 25 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will list the current pay for all grades of nurses in the National Health Service showing the net increase effect of the present proposed increase for each grade and the real value of these increases compared with the years 1979, 1980 and 1981.

The following table shows, for the main nursing pay grades, basic pay at the maximum point of the salary scales for the years 1978 to 1981, and the maxima for 1982 which would result from implementation of the current pay offer. In addition, the movements in basic pay since 1978 are shown. Comparable earnings data are not available—the figures below therefore take no account of additional payments, for which most nurses are eligible, for working overtime or at unsocial hours. In 1980–81 nurses' working hours were reduced from 40 to 37½ per week, equivalent to 6·5 per cent. on basic pay. Over this period, April 1978-April 1982, the retail price index increased by 64·3 per cent.

Basic pay at maximum of salary scale, effective from 1 April—£ (Movement over 1978 base of 100)Salary scale after current offer £
Main Grades19781979198019811982
Regional Nursing
Officer—R110,996 (100)12,094 (110)19,000 (173)21,924 (199)22,801 (207)
District Nursing
Officer—D19,370 (100)10,325 (110)15,538 (166)17,928 (191)*
Divisional Nursing
Officer—I7,339 (100)8,115 (111)10,836 (148)12,654 (172)*
Senior Nursing
Officer II5,407 (100)6,013 (111)7,983 (148)8,462 (157)*
Senior Nursing
Officer I5,206 (100)5,794 (111)7,687 (148)8,148 (157)*
Nursing Officer I4,978 (100)5,546 (111)7,350 (148)7,791 (157)*
Nursing Officer II4,825 (100)5,380 (112)7,124 (148)7,551 (156)*
Nursing Sister II
(Ward Sister)4,429 (100)4,949 (112)6,807 (154)7,215 (163)7,676 (173)
Staff Nurse, SRN3,385 (100)3,813 (113)5,119 (151)5,426 (160)5,772 (171)
Enrolled Nurse3,016 (100)3,411 (113)4,561 (151)4,835 (160)5,143 (171)
Nursing Auxiliary2,584 (100)2,915 (113)3,790 (147)4,017 (155)4,274 (165)
Student—3rd year2,356 (100)2,667 (113)3,390 (144)3,593 (153)3,882 (162)
Director of Nurse
Education—I7,786 (100)8,601 (110)11,496 (148)13,425 (172)14,352 (184)
Senior Tutor5,533 (100)6,150 (111)8,170 (148)8,660 (157)9,273 (168)
Tutor5,158 (100)5,742 (111)7,616 (148)8,073 (157)8,663 (168)
Clinical Teacher4,825 (100)5,380 (112)7,124 (148)7,551 (156)8,126 (168)


* These grades have now been replaced with new management grades which reflect different responsibilities arising out of the restructuring of the National Health Service.

Figures for 1978 have been included to indicate the size of the pay increases which were paid on 1 April 1979.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if, in the negotiations the Minister for Health is proposing to have with both sides of the Whitley council relating to the establishment of a permanent pay formula scheme for nurses, he will consider the possibility of introducing a factor analysis arrangement, as used by the Armed Forces, an indexation arrangement, as used by the police and firemen, or a review body arrangement, as used by doctors and dentists; whether he has made any evaluation of these options; and if he will make a statement.

I should be happy to discuss a wide range of possibilities as part of the discussions which I hope to have with both sides of the Whitley council to explore possible progress on the complex and difficult issue of a permanent arrangement for the pay of nurses and midwives. The Government would be unwilling to see the introduction of index-linking into a further area of public sector pay bargaining, but all other matters are open to discussion without commitment by any party at this stage. I am mainly anxious that discussions within the working party should now get under way without further delay.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will give the number of full-time nurses of (a) State registered nurse qualification and (b) State enrolled nurse qualification employed in the National Health Service for 1978, 1979, 1980 and 1981.

We do not have any firm figures broken down into the categories of nurses specified more up to date than for the year ended 30 September 1980. The number of nurses and midwives, including agency staff, who were employed full-time in the National Health Service in England for the years ended 30 September 1978, 1979 and 1980 were as follows in the categories specified:

Registered nurses96,98798,73699,683
Enrolled nurses40,01940,30543,973
State certified midwives║12,14712,51812,494
* Numbers of staff in the hospital service are available prior to 1980 but not in the primary health care service. The appropriate whole-time equivalents have therefore been included.
Includes health visitor students and nurses undertaking post registration training.
Includes nurses undertaking post-enrolment training for 1980 only as those categories were not identified in previous years.
║ Includes some midwives who are not additionally registered or enrolled nurses.
Many more have been recruited since September 1980 and I regret that I am not able to give an up-to-date analysis.