Moving forward on NHS pay

It is time to give NHS staff a meaningful pay rise and recognise the true value of their work.

Moving forward on NHS pay

It is time to give NHS staff a meaningful pay rise and recognise the true value of their work.


The 14 health unions representing NHS staff on the ‘Agenda for Change’ pay system have written to the Chancellor and Prime Minister to call for the next NHS pay round and the resulting settlement to be brought forward. Waiting until 2021 is not acceptable.


The last few months have shone a light on the essential contribution NHS workers make. They have demonstrated immense strength in the face of adversity and the public has shown great appreciation for their work.

There is a unique moment for the government to show its support for the NHS and its workforce. The applause and tributes have been a short-term morale boost for many of our members but we must now see action.

The government is looking at how to support the UK economy in the months and years ahead and they must remember that local economies and the Treasury benefit from increasing the money in the pockets of the sizeable NHS workforce.

Every NHS occupation and every hospital clinic and community team has vacancies it needs to fill to provide the safe care all our members want to give. A fair pay award now not only makes today’s workers feel valued but also helps to attract and retain the many that will be needed for the future. The government can now show it is committed to that. 

Health unions want the next pay deal to form part of a long-term strategy to attract the best people to join the NHS workforce and build a health service fit for whatever the future holds.

We are calling on the government to move NHS pay forward by:

1. Committing to immediate discussions on pay;

2. Recognising the importance of tackling vacancies across the NHS;

3. Delivering an early deal that reaches members’ pockets before 2021, helping to retain staff;

4. Integrating an NHS pay deal into plans to boost local economies;

5. Guaranteeing additional funding for employers and to cover meaningful early pay increases - with the flow-through to devolved funding arrangements allowing all parts of the UK to move forward on NHS pay. Additional funding should also be provided via commissioners to ensure all staff who provide NHS services receive a meaningful pay rise.