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Written Statement - NHS Pay Awards and Pay Review Body Reports

Vaughan Gething, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport

The Welsh Government provided a remit to the NHS Pay Review Body (external link) and to the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) (external link) about pay for NHS staff employed on Agenda for Change terms and conditions and doctors and dentists, respectively.

I am grateful to the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and observations. I know that their advice is greatly valued by NHS Management and Trade Unions alike. After considering carefully their proposals, I have accepted the following recommendations for 2017-18:

  • For Agenda for Change staff employed by the NHS in Wales, I have accepted the recommendation of a 1% consolidated uplift to all pay scales from 1 April 2017.

  • For salaried doctors and dentists, a 1% consolidated increase will be applied to all pay scales from 1 April 2017. A 1% increase will be applied to the value of clinical excellence awards; a 1% increase will be applied to the value of commitment awards and a 1% increase to the value of the GP trainers’ grant, in line with the DDRB recommendations.

  • For salaried GPs, the minimum and maximum of the salary range will be increased by 1%.There will be no increase in the rate for General Medical Practitioner (GMP) appraisers which will remain at £500. Similarly, the supplement payable to general practice specialty  registrars will remain at 45% of basic salary for those on the existing UK-wide contract. 

  • For independent contractor GMP and General Dental Practitioners (GDP), there will also be uplift in pay, net of expenses, of 1%. This will be implemented within the wider agreement about the annual uplift on the value of the GMP and GDP contracts. Alongside these increases, I have also agreed a 1% salary increase for those in Executive and Senior posts within the NHS in Wales who have not had a pay award since 2009.

I remain committed to tackling the issue of low pay in Wales and will ensure the lowest earners in NHS Wales are paid a fair salary, as recommended by the Living Wage Foundation. I am therefore implementing the uplift to the living wage – to £8.45 an hour – for all directly-employed NHS staff from 1 April 2017.

I am pleased that I am able to meet the independent pay review bodies pay recommendations in full and to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to staff working in the NHS in Wales.

The Pay Review Bodies make a number of wider recommendations and observations based on the collection and analysis of comprehensive evidence.  Some of these are very specific to the implementation of this year’s pay award and the further data analysis that they would like to see in the future. The reports also raise interesting questions about the role of pay targeting, the impact of any future inflation on pay restraint, and the use of the pay review process as a lever for delivering service change.  

I note these wider recommendations and observations and want to ensure they are given thorough consideration. In Wales, we are committed to working in social partnership with staff and employers to address the challenges facing the workforce. I will therefore be asking the health unions and employers in Wales to work with government to consider these issues further and to develop a view about how best this wider agenda should be taken forward in Wales for the benefit of the NHS and all those who use its services.