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Next government must prioritise pay, say healthcare staff

Next government must prioritise pay, say healthcare staff
By Beth Gault
4 June 2024

Exclusive: The next government needs to prioritise better pay within the NHS, according to healthcare staff.

In a Healthcare Leader survey on the state of primary care, 60% of respondents said that better pay for all NHS staff should be a high priority for the next government following the 4 July election.

Over half of respondents (53%) said that recruitment of GPs should be a high priority, while 47% said ambulance response times should be the focus (see box). 

Around 1,795 healthcare professionals were surveyed over a three-week period across Healthcare Leader and its sister titles. Those surveyed included GPs, nurses, pharmacists, PCN clinical directors and managers, practice managers, hospital consultants and ARRS staff.

Respondents were asked to mark various issues on a scale of priority from one to five, one being a low priority and five being high.

The lowest priorities among respondents were AI-driven care (26%), scrapping PCNs (21%) and driving forward integrated neighbourhood teams (18%).

The Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced the July election late last month, with the NHS set to be a key issue of debate among the parties.

The highest and lowest priorities

Question: On a scale of 1-5, with 1 being low priority and 5 being high priority, what do you think the priority should be for the next government in terms of the NHS?

Top three highest priorities:

Better pay for all NHS staff


More recruitment of GPs


Improving ambulance response times



Top three lowest priorities:

AI-driven care


Scrapping PCNs


Driving forward integrated neighbourhood teams



The State of Primary Care survey ran between 29 April and 20 May 2024 across Cogora titles Pulse PCN, Pulse, Healthcare Leader, Management in Practice, The Pharmacist and Nursing in Practice. It had 1,795 respondents across primary care. It will inform a report due out next month.

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