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NHS: Pay Review Body

Volume 716: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010


My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Health (Andy Burnham) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

I am responding to the letter and supporting paper received from the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) on 10 December 2009. Copies of the letter and supporting paper have been placed in the Library and copies are available to honourable Members from the Vote Office. I am grateful to the chair and members of the NHSPRB for their work in support of the three-year deal and the other issues they have considered this year.

I welcome the NHSPRB’s decision not to seek a remit from me to review the 2010-11 pay uplift for NHS staff on the three-year pay deal. This means we can fulfil our commitment to implement the deal in full.

The NHSPRB did not make any formal recommendations but suggested parties reconsider its recommendation in its 24th report that pharmacists employed in the NHS and paid at Agenda for Change pay band 6 and 7 should receive a short-term national recruitment and retention premium (RRP). The NHSPRB “expect to return to the matter in 2010”.

I am content that the actions we have been taking in England, described in my Written Ministerial Statement of 3 July, are the right ones to address the pharmacist recruitment and retention challenges. I am keeping the situation under review.

The NHSPRB concluded that available evidence does not support the case for a national RRP for building craft workers put forward by the Union of Construction Allied Trades and Technicians but suggested they were included in the review of national RRPs being conducted by the NHS Staff Council. That is a matter for the NHS Staff Council which is responsible for overseeing Agenda for Change pay, terms and conditions which cover about 1.1 million NHS staff.

I note the NHSPRB’s concerns about the lack of sufficiently detailed workforce statistics relating to building craft workers and other non-clinical staff in the NHS. My department is working with the NHSPRB’s Secretariat (the Office for Manpower Economics) and the NHS Health and Social Care Information Centre to agree how to improve workforce statistics available for these staff groups.