Dept of Health: Our staff are 'greatest asset'

The NHS recognises that its staff are its "greatest asset, but "cannot afford" a general payrise in a time of "severe funding restraint" a Department of Health spokesperson has said.

"That's why at a time of severe funding restraint we have been clear that they should receive at least 1% additional pay this year and next.

We cannot afford a general pay rise on top of incremental pay increases of up to 6% without risking frontline jobs and safe staffing levels.

We are disappointed that the unions rejected our offer to discuss any alternative proposals on pay, within an available budget of nearly £1 billion."

More: Union: Workers give '£1.5bn' of unpaid overtime to NHS

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NHS staff feel 'taken for granted'

Health staff put in £1.5 billion of unpaid overtime every year so deserve a decent pay rise, the Government will be told today during protests by NHS workers.