A number of constituents have contacted me regarding news that the Government has recommended NHS staff receive a 1% pay rise.
The size of any NHS pay rise is ultimately decided by the Government based on recommendations from the NHS Pay Review Body. The Department of Health and Social Care has made a recommendation for a 1% pay increase for NHS staff this year (although this would not include GPs or dentists, and would mainly apply to hospital staff). The NHS Pay Review Body will make its own recommendations, based on visits to NHS Trusts, analysis of pay rates and input from NHS staff, Trade Unions and professional bodies. These recommendations are set to be made in late Spring, when they will be considered by the Government. It would not be appropriate to pre-empt these recommendations or the Government’s final decision.
The pay review comes at a time of intense financial pressure after the Government has spent nearly £300 billion supporting jobs, families and public services through the pandemic. Pay for public service workers simply cannot rise as much as they deserve - indeed all but the lowest-paid workers across the public sector have their pay frozen for 2021/22. It must also be remembered that more than one million NHS staff will continue to benefit from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, including a pay rise of more than 12% for newly qualified nurses, with the average nurse pay now £34,000 per year. Junior doctors' pay has been increased by 8.2%.
I hope that when finances allow, proper recognition can be given to all those who have worked under great pressure throughout the pandemic.