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NHS Update

Statement made on 13 July 2023

Statement UIN HCWS946


The 51st Report of the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB), the 45th report of the Review Body on Senior Salaries (SSRB), and the 36th report of the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) are being published today. The reports will be presented to Parliament and published on Gov.UK.

This is further to Staff Council accepting the offer made to Agenda for Change staff, which was announced to the House on 3rd May 2023.

I am grateful to all the Chairs and members of the DDRB, SSRB and NHSPRB for their reports. I am accepting their pay recommendations in full, recognising the vital contribution that NHS staff make to our country.

The DDRB has recommended a 6% increase to national salary pay scales, pay ranges or the pay elements of contracts for all groups included in their remit this year, with a further consolidated uplift of £1,250 for doctors and dentists in training.

The SSRB recommended a 5% uplift for Very Senior Managers (VSMs) and Executive Senior Managers (ESMs) for 2023-24, and that an additional 0.5% of the ESM and VSM paybill in each employing organisation is used to address pay anomalies.

These recommendations are broadly in line with pay growth in the private sector.

Doctors and Dentists

After careful consideration of the Pay Review Body reports, we have decided to accept their pay recommendations in full. In doing so, we have committed to:

  • uplifting pay points for doctors and dentists in training (c. 67,000 doctors) by 6% plus £1,250 on a consolidated basis;
  • uplifting the salaries of consultants (c.55,000 doctors) by 6% on a consolidated basis;
  • uplifting the pay range for salaried GMPs (c.15,000 doctors) by 6% on a consolidated basis;
  • uplifting the pay element of the General Dental Practitioners contract (c.24,000 dentists) and the minimum and maximum pay scale for salaried dentists by 6% on a consolidated basis;
  • uplifting the pay scales of specialist and associate specialist (SAS) doctors on pre-2021 contracts (c.6,000 doctors) by 6% on a consolidated basis and uplifting the salaries of SAS doctors on the 2021 contract (c.4000 doctors) by 3% on a consolidated basis on top of the increase for 2023-24 already agreed as part of the multi-year deal.

Senior Managers

After careful consideration, we have decided to accept the pay recommendations of the SSRB in full. In doing so, we have committed to:

  • Uplifting the salaries for VSMs and ESMs in the NHS by 5%;
  • Recommending 0.5 per cent of the ESM and VSM paybill in each employing organisation is used as a pot to address specific pay anomalies.

Additionally, the SSRB recommend that central approval or rejection of proposed VSM or ESM pay is provided within four weeks of submission of the pay case. I agree that improvements should be made to the process, but cannot accept this recommendation in full as the department will need sufficient time to review and scrutinise any bid we receive.

All pay awards will be backdated to 1 April 2023. This pay award is only applicable to NHS staff in England. The 2023-24 pay uplift for NHS staff directly employed by NHS providers will be funded by NHS England through system allocations.

While it is right we accept the PRB recommendations, this needs to be proportionate and balanced with the need to manage the country’s long-term economic health. Sustained higher levels of inflation would have a worse impact on people’s real incomes in the long run, which is why we need proportionate and balanced pay increases as recommended by the independent Pay Review Bodies.

In written and oral evidence to the Pay Review Bodies, the Government set out what was affordable within the NHS’ Spending Review settlement. The Pay Review Bodies have recommended pay awards above this level. This Government is committed to living within its means and delivering value for the taxpayer. More borrowing would add pressures on inflation at exactly the wrong time, risking higher interest rates and higher mortgage rates. We plan to increase the main rate of the Immigration Health Surcharge – to ensure it covers the full healthcare costs of those who pay it, having been frozen for the last three years despite high inflation and wider pressures – to £1,035, and the discounted rate for students, their dependents, those on Youth Mobility Schemes and under-18s to £776. We will fund this pay award through prioritisation within existing departmental budgets and will protect frontline services.

Accepting the full DDRB recommendations is the fair and reasonable way to determine pay for doctors and dentists across the country. Ongoing industrial action should now be urgently called off, to avoid any further unnecessary disruption to NHS services. We expect that the medical trade unions’ trade disputes with the Government should cease.

Linked statements

This statement has also been made in the House of Lords

Department of Health and Social Care
NHS Update
Lord Markham
Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Minister for the Lords)
Conservative, Life peer
Statement made 13 July 2023