NHS Staff Pay and Productivity

How we value and retain our NHS staff is critical, the Government recently announcement that we will no longer have an across-the-board policy of 1 per cent basic pay awards. It will look to the expert pay review bodies to deliver a settlement which balances the needs for affordability for taxpayers, improved retention for the system, and a fair reward for staff. These independent pay review bodies apply their expertise and objectivity in making recommendations to Government. Any changes must be justified by the available evidence on recruitment, productivity, and retention. 
 
In the 2017 Autumn Budget, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced that the Government will additionally fund any increased pay award, a significant move which will reward NHS staff and protect NHS services. The Department of Health is engaging in ongoing discussions with NHS trades unions, NHS Employers, and the Treasury to best establish how to increase productivity in the NHS, as it is vital that any increases in investment in the NHS represent value for money for taxpayers, and contribute to a more efficient NHS, in a time of ongoing pressure on public finances. The pay review body will make its next recommendation in March 2018, and I will follow this issue with interest.
 
In regards to pay awards in recent years, the NHS is one of few public sector workforces that receive annual incremental pay progression. Around half of staff on Agenda for Change (AfC) contracts receive incremental pay of around 3 per cent on average. For example, a typical qualified nurse can expect seven years of pay progression averaging around 3.8 per cent a year, in addition to annual pay awards. This means pay rises in addition to the previous 1 per cent headline award have been received.