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“Lower bosses pay and invest in us!” says William Harvey A&E nurse

An Ashford nurse says NHS bosses’ salaries should be cut to increase funding for front line staff. 

Agency staff nurse at A&E William Harvey, Emily Love* believes that the high pay of NHS executives are ‘unfair’.

She said: “The best thing to do for the health secretary is to put down the salaries of the senior managers and invest it to those working on the floor.”

*Emily’s name has been changed to hide her identity. 

East Kent Hospitals NHS Trust (EKUFT) are rewarding their top bosses with quarter of a million salaries, with one boss taking home a £435,000 pay-package in 2016.

WATCH: A&E nurse’s message to the health secretary.

The nurse is urging the health secretary Jeremy Hunt to put an end to the rocketing salaries of NHS regional bosses.

She added: “I didn’t realise they earned so much more than every individual that works for the trust. They’re not the one doing hands-on work with the patients.”

Senior managers of EKUFT are earning eight times more than the average staff in the trust, according to their annual report.

Emily has worked at William Harvey A&E since 2010, she is still an agency nurse who is employed regularly by the trust.

The nurse said: “It’s just unfair. They’re the ones who’s bossing everyone around but they don’t know what’s actually happening on the [hospital] floor.”

Emily said that there less staff on the floor, but more managers are being employed.

Last year, NHS executives ‘soared’ while hospitals across the country experienced a shortage of nurses.

On most nights, Emily said that there were only three permanent members of staff and the rest were agency nurses.

The growing number of managers is a result of the ‘NHS pay system’, according to EKUFT.

A spokesperson for East Kent Hospitals said: “Staff at East Kent Hospitals, like NHS staff across the country, are covered by Agenda for Change – the grading and pay system for health staff.

“Staff normally progress to the next pay annually until they reach the top of the pay band… This is the case for all Trusts.”

A FOI showed that William Harvey’s spending on A&E agency nurses increased by 40% in the last two years.

In 2016, William Harvey hospital spent £925,600 on agency nurses alone. This figure went up to £1,312m in 2017.

The FOI results proved the dropping number of permanent staff are forcing the trust to rely on agency nurses.

Emily believes that her ex-colleagues resigned from the NHS to join agencies.

She said: “Why would you stay as a regular NHS staff when you can leave and join an agency. Get more money and less stressed.”

“Front line staff do not get any support anymore.” – William Harvey NHS nurse 

An FOI showed that staff resignations at William Harvey A&E had doubled in the last two years.

In 2016, a total of 32 staff members left – this figure went up to 67 people last year.

EKUFT said that the main reasons behind the resignations were due to ‘promotion, better rewards package, child dependants, health, work life balance’.

The nurse said that NHS needs to provide ‘more support and financial incentives’ so less nurses resign.

She said: “No one likes agency nurses but the reality is, we’re the only ones staying.”

The government recently announced a pay rise for one million NHS workers. The deal will increase salaries up to 29% over three years.

Some are rejecting the deal, saying it’s still below the expected increase in inflation – and actually a pay cut in real terms.

National Officer of GMB union, Kevin Brandstatter told the Standard: “After all that suffering, is a below inflation pay rise the best they can offer?

“If it is, GMB will have to recommend that our members in NHS and ambulance trusts reject it.”