NHS Providers submission to the pay review body 2019/20 pay round
We welcome the opportunity to submit evidence to the Pay Review Body, on behalf of NHS trusts and foundation trusts to inform the 2019/20 pay round.
- NHS Providers welcomed the pay agreement reached between Agenda for Change (AfC) unions and the government earlier this year. The headline increase of over 2% per year for the considerable majority of trust employees on AfC contracts is an important step in improving the working lives of staff.
- Given the concerns of providers about the affordability of implementing the pay award if it was not funded, we welcomed the government's pledge of new funding to pay for the well-earned salary increases for AfC staff. This has, to some degree, mitigated affordability concerns around pay for NHS trusts. However uncertainty remains about the affordability of pay rises for those in posts not covered by this funding, and we would like to see these cleared up to aid trusts' financial planning.
- While the NHS long term plan acknowledges the significant workforce challenges facing the sector and commits to increasing the NHS workforce, it is disappointing that the national workforce strategy has been further delayed. The success of the NHS long term plan and the sustainability of the NHS are reliant on having sufficient staff numbers, access and funding for training and continuing professional development, and importance placed on the culture and staff wellbeing.
- The recruitment and retention of NHS staff will be instrumental in delivering the improvements expected in return for the £20.5bn funding settlement for the NHS. Member trusts have fed back that it is too soon to determine the impact of the AfC pay agreement on recruitment and retention, but it is clear that there are a number of factors which impact on this, of which pay is just one.
- We welcomed the targeting of the AfC pay settlement to ensure pay rises were directed proportionately more towards those who would benefit most. Although members supported this approach, feedback on the use of recruitment and retention premia (RRP) for staff in hard to recruit roles was split, so it will be essential for the provider sector to be closely consulted on any specific proposals to introduce national RRP.