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NHS Nurses, Paramedics and Auxiliary Staff Pay Rises

Volume 732: debated on Tuesday 2 May 2023

The petition of Adrian Paul,

Declares that millions of employed lower-tier nurses, paramedics and auxiliary staff, who are working directly for the NHS, are already significantly struggling to pay their rent or mortgage payments and pay their bills; notes that with the cost of living increase and inflation the ability for nurses and other NHS workers to pay their bills will become increasingly difficult.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Government to increase NHS salaries in line with inflation, year on year alongside free hospital parking for all nurses, doctors, paramedics and auxiliary staff.

And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Official Report, 21 February 2023; Vol. 728, c. 1P.]


Observations from the Minister for Health and Secondary Care (Will Quince):

On 16 March 2023, following constructive talks with health unions, the Government put forward a best and final offer for more than 1 million NHS staff on the Agenda for Change contract.

Under the offer, Agenda for Change staff would receive a non-consolidated award of 2% of an individual’s salary for 2022-23. This is on top of the pay increase they received for 2022-23 last year, as recommended by the independent pay review body process, worth at least £1,400. In addition, they would receive a one-off “NHS backlog bonus” which recognises the sustained pressure facing the NHS following the pandemic and the extraordinary effort that staff have been making to hit backlog recovery targets. The recovery bonus would be worth at least £1,250 to full-time staff and would be determined by an individual’s pay band. The average full-time nurse in pay band 5, for example, would receive £1,350.

For 2023-24, the Government are offering Agenda for Change staff a 5% consolidated increase in pay, worth at least £1,065 to full-time staff.

As a result of this package, a newly qualified nurse would see their salary go up by more than £2,750 over two years, from 2021-22 to 2023-24. On top of this they would also receive over £1,890 in one-off payments this year.

On top of the pay package, the offer includes a series of non-pay measures to support the NHS workforce.

The Government firmly believe this is a fair offer that rewards Agenda for Change staff and commits to a substantial pay rise in 2023-24 at a time when people across the country are facing cost of living pressures and there are multiple demands on the public finances.

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN), UNISON, the GMB, the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and the British Dietetic Association recommended the offer to their members in pay consultations.

Unison and RCN consultations closed on 14 April and these unions have announced their results: RCN has rejected the offer, with 54% of RCN members voting to reject; and Unison has accepted the offer, with 74% of those voting opting to accept. Members of the other unions continue to vote in their consultations.

Free Hospital Parking

This is an issue for individual trusts to decide.

All NHS trusts that charge for hospital car parking provide free hospital car parking for those in great need, including NHS staff working overnight, frequent out-patient attenders, parents of children staying in hospital overnight and disabled blue badge holders.

NHS trusts should follow the NHS car parking guidance, which sets out best practice principles—for example, where charges exist, they should be reasonable for the area.

Throughout the pandemic, this Government supported our NHS staff however they could. That is why in March 2020 we introduced free hospital car parking for all NHS staff during the emergency covid-19 period.

It was right that this policy ended in April last year as we continue living with the virus.

The Government want to continue working constructively with trade unions to make the NHS a better place to work.