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‘Disappointing’ that 3% pay rise will not cover all NHS staff

Money

By Beth Gault
22 July 2021

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NHS leaders have called it ‘disappointing’ that a pay rise announced by the Government will not cover all NHS staff.  

The Government announced yesterday that there would be a 3% pay rise for salaried GPs, consultants, dentists, nurses and paramedics, after it accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) and the Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists Renumeration (DDRB).  

The pay rise will be backdated to April 2021.  

For the average nurse, this means an additional £1,000 a year, while many cleaners will see around £540 extra a year.  

However, staff including junior doctors and GP partners are not included in this list due to their multi-year pay deals. 

Chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said: ‘It is disappointing to hear that the 3% rise has not been applied for all grades of staff, including junior doctors, as trust leaders emphasised the need for a fair deal to be applied across the whole workforce.’ 

He added: ‘Overall, this is a helpful improvement on the government’s initial 1% proposal, which understandably provoked widespread condemnation.’  

The Government initially suggested there would be a 1% pay rise in March 2021.  

In the DDRB report, it said: ‘DHSC [Department of Health and Social Care] said that, in setting the DHSC and NHS budget, the government assumed a headline pay award of 1% for NHS staff, and anything higher than this would require reprioritisation.’ 

‘Callously disregarded’ 

The BMA also called the pay rise ‘disappointing’, especially as some economists have predicted that inflation could reach nearly 4% this year.  

BMA council chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: ‘Our members have been left exhausted, burned out and on the verge of physical and mental breaking point by the past 18 months.  

‘Junior doctors and GPs on multi-year pay deals in England have given just as much of themselves as all doctors to care for their patients – and yet have been callously disregarded in this pay award and will receive less than their peers.  

‘In all, doctors, including those on multi-year pay deals, have given the same care to their patients. In recognition the Government should now ensure they are all given the same fair pay uplift and it is something we will be calling upon Government to review and think again in the coming days.’ 

Unison’s head of health and chair of the joint health unions, Sara Gorton, said the increase would ‘fall short of expectations’.  

‘Pay is so important not just for staff but for the NHS too. After the nightmare of the past year, health workers need to know the government has their back and understands what they’ve been through,’ she said.  

‘As staff ready themselves to deal with another wave, the government must speak up and show it values what they’ve done. Not just during the pandemic but in tackling the mammoth backlog too. 

‘Unions will now consult their members to determine their approach to the 3% pay award.’  

However, health secretary Sajid Javid said this pay rise was a ‘recognition’ of the NHS’s ‘extraordinary efforts’ this year.  

‘NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts,’ said Mr Javid.  

‘We asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and I’m pleased to accept them in full, with a 3% pay rise for all staff in scope, from doctors and nurses to paramedics and porters. 

‘We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up. I will continue to do everything I can to support all those in our health service who are working so tirelessly to care for patients.’  

Last year, NHS dentists and doctors received a 2.8% pay rise, backdated to April 2020.  

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