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Review body to advise on ‘targeting’ NHS pay rises


Pay rises for nurses for the next four years look set to be “targeted” to best support recruitment and retention, meaning the 1% will not be universally applied.

The government has asked the NHS Pay Review Body to provide it with recommendations on how to apply the 1% pay rise next year, which was announced by George Osborne in his summer budget.

“The government has made it clear that pay restraint in the public sector continues to be a crucial part of its plans to reduce the deficit”

David Prior

There was anger from unions in August when a letter sent from the Treasury to the review body said should be “no expectation” that every worker will receive a 1% increase, with some getting less and some more.

In a new letter to the review body, the government stated that it would fund annual pay awards in the public sector at an “average” of 1% in each of the next four years from 2016-17 to 2019-20.

Health minister Lord David Prior said in the letter that he was “confirming the government’s approach” to pay awards in the public sector for 2016-17.

“I invite the NHS Pay Review Body to consider the case for targeting to support recruitment and retention, including high cost area supplement and to make recommendations within an average of 1% for staff employed under Agenda for Change,” said Lord Prior.

High cost area supplements are currently paid to all NHS staff groups who are covered by the Agenda for Change agreement on working in inner and outer London and the fringe zones.

In the letter to review body chair Jerry Cope, Lord Prior added: “The government has made it clear that pay restraint in the public sector continues to be a crucial part of its plans to reduce the deficit.

David Prior

David Prior

David Prior

“I appreciate that this presents particular challenges, but your expert, impartial and independent judgement is vital as employers and staff respond to the unprecedented challenges facing the NHS,” he said.

The comments on the “vital” role of the review body follows the pay dispute during 2014-15, when the coalition government decided to reject the advisory group’s recommendation of a 1% pay rise for all NHS staff.

Lord Prior noted in the letter that review body’s remit covered the entire UK and that it was for each government “to make its own decisions on its approach to this year’s pay round”.


Readers' comments (6)

  • What an absolute joke this Government is. They must be so out of touch with reality that they don't know how much money Trusts are spending on agency and non UK based staff because of the massive recruitment and retention issues the NHS faces

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  • Stop the percentage pay rise and implement a flat rate increase over all the staff. This will insure the lowest pay will be raised the most. Yes the managers will grumble but tough. They have had their grandiose payouts and it's about time they felt a paltry rise in their wages. This percentage pay rises have seen the rich get richer so causing a bigger pay gap between the lower and higher paid. This greed has to stop.

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  • Now that Agenda for Change has been implemented the simplicity of its structure and covering all professions means it would be hard to "target" hard to recruit professions.

    Almost all posts are now hard to recruit to, rarely do we get enough suitable people apply to even shortlist 6 people which used to be the norm. Now almost anyone who applies who meets the person specification will be appointed.

    It is hard to know whether you are getting the best people if anyone who turns up gets a job.

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  • Who do you consider to be the managers in question. I am an 8a and can assure you I havnt had a grandiose pay rise at any point of my 35year career. My pay rises over the last 10 years have been paltry, non pensionable or non existant.

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  • Nowt to do with deficit reduction - after all, there's always money for bombs to drop in a war in Syria. And bombs don't come cheap. It's a clever strategy to reduce the overheads - makes services more attractive to investors as the NHS is broken up and sold off to profiteers.

    We failed to stop them when they attacked our pension, now only the junior docs are between the gov and losing unsocial hours extra duty payments. Over 80% of nurses didn't bothered to vote in the ballot for industrial action when the gov attacked the pension. Makes me weep.

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  • Chief executives and senior NHS managers frequently cite 'market forces' as the reason for their high salaries. However, these same 'market forces' would suggest that nurses in the UK are currently underpaid as evidenced by the shortage of trained nurses. Yet, unlike NHS managers and chief executives, UK nurses are being asked to endure years of below inflation pay rises and also work harder at the same time.There appears to be one set of rules for the elite - and another for the rest of us.

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