Pay award is helpful improvement but serious questions remain

21 July 2021

  • The Department of Health and Social Care has accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body for Doctors' and Dentists' Remuneration for a 3% pay rise for NHS staff.
  • The award covers most staff groups, including nurses, paramedics, consultants, and dentists in England. It does not apply to junior doctors who continue on a separate multi-year deal with rises of 2% per year.


Responding to the government's confirmation of a 3% pay offer for some NHS staff, the chief executive of NHS Providers, Chris Hopson, said:

"We welcome the 3% pay award which is the level we had called for as a minimum in recognising the extraordinary hard work and commitment of frontline staff over the past 18 months.

"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.

"Overall, this is a helpful improvement on the government's initial 1% proposal, which understandably provoked widespread condemnation.

The 1% proposal also fell significantly short of the pay assumptions enshrined in the NHS Long Term Plan.

Chris Hopson    Chief Executive

"The 1% proposal also fell significantly short of the pay assumptions enshrined in the NHS Long Term Plan.

"We now need clarity that the rise is fully backdated and fully funded by government so we do not see money diverted away from other priorities that could impact on patient care.

"The pay award should be seen as part of a wider commitment to investment in the workforce, including through additional support for staff health and wellbeing, and a regularly updated, fully funded and costed long term workforce plan to address current shortages and meet long term needs."

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