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Question for Department of Health

UIN 4756, tabled on 12 July 2017

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, what the total NHS pay bill has been in each of the last five years; and if he will make a statement.

Answered on

19 July 2017

The total Hospital and Community Health Service (HCHS) pay bill for the previous five years is as follows:


Total HCHS pay bill (£)


43.284 billion


43.663 billion


44.140 billion


45.085 billion


46.112 billion

Source: Department of Health’s Headline HCHS Pay bill Metrics, which are based primarily on earnings statistics published by NHS Digital, supplemented by employer pension and national insurance contributions estimates informed by unpublished and unvalidated data from the Electronic Staff Record Data Warehouse.

The HCHS pay bill data for 2016-17 is not yet available.

The HCHS workforce comprises of staff working within hospital and community health settings, and so excludes general practitioners (GPs), GP practice staff and General Dental Practitioners.

The HCHS pay bill for 2015/2016 is around £46 billion. National Health Service trusts and foundation trusts spend around 60% of their entire expenditure on pay. NHS pay systems have an inbuilt pressure because of incremental pay of around £790 million a year. The value of increments for non-medical staff employed under the national Agenda for Change pay framework ranges from £176 to £4,599; and from 1.0% to 6.7%, which is in additional to annual pay awards.