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. Over 14,000 more doctors and over 13,000 more nurses have arrived on our wards in the past decade.
How the NHS values and retains its staff is critical and I was encouraged when a deal was agreed in 2018 ensuring a 6.5 per cent pay rise for over one million NHS workers on Agenda for Change contracts over three years.
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, is funding the pay rise over the remaining two years. Those on the lowest salaries in the NHS are seeing the largest proportionate pay rises: the lowest NHS starting salary has increased year on year from £15,404 to £18,005 in 2020/2021. Many nurses and healthcare assistants are enjoying pay increases of at least 2.5 per cent.
NHS staff are playing an integral part of the national effort to combat coronavirus - and we owe them a great deal of gratitude for all that they do. I know the Government is committed to supporting all staff now and in the future. Its unwavering support for frontline staff predates this unprecedented challenge.
Staff on the Agenda for Change (AfC) deal are already scheduled to receive pay rises, with the starting salary for a newly qualified nurse increasing 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. Moreover, the Government has introduced a nurses' bursary which provides at least £5,000 of additional support to nursing students. I understand that the NHS Pay Review Body, covering AfC staff, will return to making recommendations for next year's pay awards.
The Government's announcement of a pay rise of 2.8 per cent for dentists and doctors, backdated to April 2020, is in line with the recommendations of the independent pay review body.
The fight against coronavirus is a national effort, and my colleagues and I are committed to giving NHS staff the additional support they need throughout it.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
Craig Whittaker MP