Summary

Research director Sam Bowman is quoted in City AM, arguing that the NHS was designed to care for patients — not to be a welfare scheme for NHS staff.

Read the article here.

From Harriet Green's article:

"And more crucially, as Sam Bowman of the Adam Smith Institute points out, the NHS is there to provide care for patients, "not to act as a welfare scheme for NHS staff."

Given that it's got a limited budget, increasing pay means cutting spending elsewhere: "It may well be the case that NHS patients are better served by additional staff or more investment in medical equipment than they would be by this wage increase."

Moreover, special protection means public sector workers already have "much greater job security than provate sector workers" – it's difficult to see why, says Bowman, there should be a sense of automatic entitlement for something most taxpayers are not experiencing. 

Bowman's says the political wrangling we've seen over this decision "highlights the need for devolution of pay bargaining to NHS Trusts". When you take into account the varying labour markets and patient needs across the country, it seems foolish at best having national pay bargaining. "A pay rise that makes sense for patients in Suffolk may not make sense for patients in Sunderland."