Pay review bodies

We need to reform NHS pay, terms and conditions. The pay bill is becoming unaffordable, while the current terms and conditions do not adequately match reward with performance, or enable smooth transitions between health and social care.

With pay constituting between 60% and 85% of an NHS provider’s expenditure, a sustainable balance must be found, where the national staff costs of delivering new care models such as seven-day services are adequately resourced and quality of patient care can be maintained.

The pay review bodies

The NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) and the Doctors and Dentists Review Body (DDRB) annual (financial year) recommendations to government on pay awards for non-medical staff and doctors respectively are an important factor in the financial context in which our members operate. We provide evidence to the pay review bodies on behalf of our members.

2014/15 and 2015/16

In March 2014, the government announced its decisions on public sector pay awards for 2014/15. In terms of health, the government decided not to accept the recommendations of the NHSPRB and the DDRB to award a 1% uplift to both non-medical staff and doctors. Instead, for most NHS staff the government decided to award a 1% non-consolidated uplift only to those staff groups not already entitled to a progression pay increment (i.e. those staff who have already reached the top of their relevant pay band). This was to be a two-year award.

NHS Providers welcomed the government’s announcement on the 2014/15 pay award as a first step to fundamental change of the pay and reward system in the NHS. In our evidence to the review bodies, we had argued that our members cannot continue to provide the right quality of care to patients within the current financial constraints without taking a more radical look at NHS pay, terms and conditions. We saw the government’s announcement as important recognition of the case for change we set out in our evidence.

Following strike action by unions representing non-medical staff in late 2014, the government negotiated a new deal with unions for 2015/16. Under the deal, which is yet to be approved by the unions' members, all staff up to point 42 of the Agenda for Change scale will receive a 1% consolidated pay rise from April 2015, with staff on pay point 34 and above having an increment freeze for one year. The deal did not affect doctors.

Special remits for 2015/16

During 2014, the government gave the NHSPRB and DDRB "special remits" for 2015/16 relating to seven-day services and contract reform respectively. This was in the context of the government's two year pay award, meaning the review bodies did not need to make a recommendation on pay for 2014/15.

We submitted written evidence to the review bodies in December 2014 and supplementary evidence, in response to questions from the review bodies, in February 2015.

In July 2015 the NHSPRB and DDRB submitted their reports to government, in response to which the government announced its intention to reform the consultant contract, a move which we welcomed.

NHS Pay Review Body pay round for 2016/17

We submitted written evidence to the Review Body in September 2015.

The Review Body is due to report to government in February 2016.

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