NHS Staff to Get Pay Rise

It has recently been reported that 1.3 million NHS staff are being offered pay increases which will be staggered over three years. The staff that will benefit from the salary increases are ones who have an ‘Agenda for Change’ contract, this covers nurses, porters and paramedics – all professionals except doctors, dentists and senior leaders.

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Cost £4.2b

As we all know, the NHS is vastly understaffed and the loyal NHS workers have been working harder and longer hours to compensate. When staff are spread thinly this can lead to a drop in morale and makes it easier for mistakes to happen within the service, which of course can not only be costly, but can dramatically alter lives, some unfortunately ending in loss of life.

The agreement was formally agreed yesterday by union leaders and ministers, and will cost £4.2 billion.

Sara Gorton, lead negotiator for the 14 health unions, says: "It won't solve every problem in the NHS but it will go a long way towards making dedicated health staff feel more valued, lift flagging morale and help turn the tide on staffing problems."

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said “Compromises have had to be made” but he predicts the deal will make the NHS a "desirable" employer once again.

It isn't straightforward

There are certain caveats involved and it isn’t as straightforward as all employees getting a £X pay rise. Some staff will receive 6.5%; some will get rises between 9% and 29% if they are currently not at the top of their pay bands, and lowest paid staff such as cleaners, porters and catering staff could have pay rises of 15% and will benefit the most by the salary increase.

The NHS has been under pressure for a long time to retain staff, after it was revealed that one in 10 nurses were leaving the public sector in England every year.

Jeremy Hunt, Health Secretary, said the cost of the salary increases would be covered by the Treasury rather than coming out of existing NHS budgets.

He said "The agreement reflects public appreciation for just how much they have done and continue to do".

Reduce high rate of sickness

The pay rise agreement does require commitment from both staff and the Department of Health to reduce the high rate of sickness in the NHS, which of course leads to reduced levels of staff, creating a knock on effect within highly pressured jobs in A&E departments for example, along with others.

It looks like the changes won’t come into effect until summer 2018 after staff have voted, but it makes for some positive news for the NHS staff.