NHS nurses fighting Coronavirus.
NHS nurses fighting Coronavirus.

Nurses in Plymouth face losing out on a paltry 1% pay rise this year, as healthcare staff working for Livewell are yet to receive confirmation that the NHS pay rise will apply to their pay packets – despite providing identical NHS services. This is not the first time that staff working for Livewell Soutwest have been left out of NHS pay rises.

Luke Pollard MP has written to Health Secretary Matt Hancock to demand that nurses and healthcare staff working for Livewell Southwest get the minimum 1% pay rise, in line with other healthcare staff working for the NHS. Luke has previously secured a pay rise for Livewell staff when the Government left them out of the last NHS pay rise, and then again when Ministers left Livewell staff out of the the uplift in pensions.

The omission of Livewell Southwest nurses adds to widespread controversy surrounding the proposed 1% pay rise for NHS staff, which is a real terms pay cut when inflation is taken into account. The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has described the 1% figure as “pitiful,” whilst trade union body TUC described it as “a real terms pay cut” and a “hammer blow to morale.”

Commenting on this Luke Pollard said:

“The 1% for NHS nurses is an insult as it is a real terms pay cut, but Livewell staff face getting not a penny more because Ministers have left them out again. Having raised the omission of social enterprises from pay settlements in the past, and won a pay rise for them, why are Ministers not learning from their mistakes?


“All of Plymouth’s healthcare staff have given so much for us over the course of the pandemic, they deserve a proper pay rise.”

Figures show that on average, UK nurses will earn £2,500 less in real terms than they did in 2010 – even with the proposed 1% rise.

Mr Pollard is working with trade unions representing Livewell staff to seek clarification that the pay rise will be paid to Livewell staff.

Full text of Luke Pollard’s Letter to Secretary of State Matt Hancock regarding Livewell Southwest can be seen below:

Dear Secretary of State,




I am writing to you following a conversation with Livewell SW regarding the proposed 1% pay increase for nurses.


As I understand it Livewell nurses have not yet been assured that they will also receive this increase, despite them providing NHS services in the same way as nurses employed directly by NHS Trusts. These nurses have faced the same challenges – they have all nursed sick people, they have all held the hands of those who have been lonely and frightened, and they have all provided care to those at the end of their lives.


After the work that all of the staff on the frontline in Plymouth have done during the pandemic, whether employed by the NHS or Livewell, it is disappointing that they have, yet again, been let down by the Government. They do so much to make our health service one to be proud of and they deserve our respect, admiration and full support.


This is not the first time I have written to you to raise the omission of staff working for social enterprises from NHS pay rises. Your department has, after reviewing the situation, corrected these omissions after each time I have raised them on pay and pension uplifts, but the same mistake seems to have been made again. This is frustrating for Livewell staff and I am certain must be embarrassing for you having the same error highlighted repeatedly.


Plymouth’s health care professionals – working for the local NHS and for Livewell SW – have been on the frontline throughout the pandemic and both deserve a decent pay rise. You will be familiar with my objections to this real-terms pay cut for our NHS staff, but the uncertainty for Livewell staff is significant. Can you please confirm that Livewell Southwest staff will also be getting the 1% pay uplift? And can you also confirm that in all future pay settlements, your Department will make certain that those working for social enterprises that deliver NHS services are not omitted from pay rises?


Best wishes,


Luke Pollard


Labour and Co-operative MP for Plymouth Sutton and Devonport

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