Thank you for contacting me about NHS pay.
I believe that the passion, commitment, and specialist knowledge of our NHS staff is part of what makes our NHS so special. I recognise that staff morale is vital to maintaining staff commitment to services.
I fully support the mission to make the NHS the safest, highest quality healthcare system in the world. There are over 14,000 more doctors and over 13,000 more nurses on our wards in the past decade.
How we value and retain our staff is critical, and I am very happy to say that following constructive negotiations between NHS employers and trade unions, a deal will see a 6.5 per cent pay rise for over one million NHS workers over three years for one million NHS nurses, midwifes and other Agenda for Change (AfC) workers. Ministers set aside £800 million to support the deal for 2018/19, and the Government’s long term funding settlement for the NHS, which will provide increased funding of £33.9 billion per year by 2023/24, will fund the pay rise over the remaining two years. Those on the lowest salaries in the NHS will see some of the largest proportionate pay rises: the lowest NHS starting salary will increase year on year from £15,404 to £18,005 in 2020/2021. Many nurses and healthcare assistants will enjoy pay increases of at least 25 per cent.
Staff on the AfC deal are already scheduled to receive pay rises, with the starting salary for a newly qualified nurse increased by more than 12 per cent by the end of the AfC time period, with all nurses receiving pay increases of at least 6.5 per cent, and paramedics receiving up to 11 per cent. The Government's unwavering support predates this unprecedented challenge. I understand that the NHS Pay Review Body, covering AfC staff, will return to making recommendations for next year's pay awards.
I am proud the NHS has once again been rated the best healthcare system in the world, something that is only possible thanks to the dedication and hard work of all NHS staff, supported by a strong economy.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.