Thank you for contacting me about NHS staff pay and recognising the efforts of key workers. I share your admiration for the frontline workers who are making immense sacrifices to help those affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
I believe that the passion, commitment, and specialist knowledge of our NHS staff is part of what makes our NHS so special. Frontline NHS workers have played a vital and unique role throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and I know we are all grateful for their dedication. It is right that they receive a pay rise, despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary contribution.
That is why I warmly welcome the Government’s acceptance of the independent pay review bodies’ recommendation to give a 3 per cent pay rise to NHS staff. This real-term increase will benefit 1 million of our NHS staff, including nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists, salaried GPs and porters. For the average nurse, this will mean an additional £1,000 a year, while many porters and cleaners will receive around £540. I firmly support the decision to provide this pay uplift in recognition of the NHS’ extraordinary work and the impact of the pandemic.
It is absolutely vital that we back our NHS and support it in efforts to tackle both the COVID-19 pandemic and the backlog of other health problems that have built up. The historic long-term settlement for the NHS will see NHS funding increase by £33.9 billion by 2023/24 and, in recognition of the unprecedented pressure from the pandemic, a further £3 billion of additional funding is being provided in 2021/22 to support recovery from the impact of COVID-19.
I share the Government’s commitment to making the NHS the best place to work for all staff and welcome continued investment in recruitment and retention. There are currently almost 1.2 million staff working in NHS trusts, an increase of over 45,300 compared with a year ago. This includes over 4,000 more doctors and almost 9,000 more nurses, meaning the Government is on track to deliver on the commitment to recruit 50,000 more nurses by 2024.
NHS staff including nurses, paramedics, consultants, and dentists in England will receive a 3 per cent pay rise backdated to April 2021 after the Government accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) and the Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB). Overall, the awards amount to a cost to the NHS of £1.9bn for the Agenda for Change workforce and £0.3bn for consultants.
Salaried GPs’ recommended minimum and maximum pay will be uplifted by 3 per cent. Therefore the minimum and maximum pay range set out in the model terms and conditions will be uplifted. As self-employed contractors to the NHS, it is for GMP practices to determine uplifts in pay for their employees.
The Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration were asked not to make a pay recommendation for contractor General Medical Practitioners, doctors and dentists in training or Specialty and Associate Specialist (SAS) doctors moving onto new contracts as those groups are within multi-year deals.
For doctors and dentists in training the multi-year deal will mean all junior doctor pay scales will have increased by 8.2 per cent by the end of the deal, and in addition circa £90 million is being invested to reform the contract, including to create a new, higher pay point to recognise the most experienced doctors in training.
The SAS deal offers doctors faster progression to the top of the pay scales with meaningful increases at each progression point. The introduction of a new senior SAS grade improves opportunities for career progression. The agreement also introduces safeguards and additional annual leave to support health and wellbeing.
Contractor GPs are subject to a five-year investment agreement (to 2023/24) between NHS England and NHS Improvement and the British Medical Association (BMA) and therefore no pay recommendation has been sought for GP contractors.
Dentists will also receive a 3 per cent uplift. This is in addition to reduced requirements on the activity they deliver for full payment of their contract, minus agreed deductions, that have been in place throughout and a renewed commitment to reforming the NHS dental contract. Uplifts to dentists will be passed on via an uplift to their contract value.
Thank you for contacting me.
Richard Fuller MP