Eluned Morgan, Minister for Health and Social Services
I am responding today to the recommendations of the 35th NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) and 50th Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB) reports which were laid before UK Parliament on 19 July 2022. I am grateful to the chairs and members of the review bodies for their reports, and I welcome their robust recommendations and observations. I know their independent advice is valued by NHS management, trade unions and staff representatives alike.
I will be accepting the recommendations in full for NHS staff on Agenda for Change terms and conditions – about 90% of the NHS workforce, which includes our nurses, cleaners, porters, healthcare support workers and healthcare professionals.
The recommendations of the NHS Pay Review Body for Agenda for Change staff is for a £1,400 payment on all pay points, which will be enhanced for the top point of Band 6 and for the pay points in Band 7 to ensure that they receive a 4% payment.
For this year, due to the unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, which affects us all, but particularly the lowest paid, I have agreed to pay the NHSPRB’s recommendation on top of the temporary Real Living Wage uplift, which I announced in March 2022.
This means the lowest paid NHS Agenda for Change staff will see their substantive salary increase from £18,731 to £20,758 in 2022-23, which is equivalent to a pay rise of 10.8%. This decision will also mean that Wales will be the highest-paying UK nation for the lowest banded staff in the NHS.
As the NHS Pay Review Body recommendation is for an increase on pay points, rather than a percentage increase, this will mean a different percentage basic pay rise to staff on different pay points.
By accepting the pay review body’s recommendations, this will mean that almost half of the Agenda for Change workforce, who are paid in the lowest pay bands of 1 to 4, will receive an average pay increase to the pay points of 7.5%. It also means more than 89,000 staff of the Agenda for Change workforce – those up to and including Band 7 – will receive, on average, a 5.3.% increase to the pay points.
I will also be accepting the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body's recommendation to pay a 4.5% increase to the following groups:
- Doctors and dentists in training
- Independent contractor GMPs
- Salaried GMPs
- The GMP trainers’ grant and GMP appraisers’ grant
- Independent contractor GDPs
- Associate and salaried GDPs including Community Dental Service practitioners
- Doctors and dentists employed by Trusts and Health Boards on locally-determined contracts
In its report, the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body noted its concern about those in multi-year deals on the new (2021) Speciality and Specialist Doctor contract, who were not within its remit for 2022-23. I have listened to those concerns and I will be making a non-consolidated payment of £1,400 for those doctors in recognition of the cost-of-living crisis.
To protect the integrity of the new Speciality Doctor contract and the multi-year deal that was agreed in partnership and implemented in 2021, the top pay point of the former 2008 Speciality Doctor contract will be frozen until the 2021 contract pay point aligns. However, those doctors on the top pay point will receive a non-consolidated payment equivalent to 4.5%.
The recommended 4.5% pay uplift in pay for contracted GP’s and dentists is subject to overall contract changes for General Medical and General Dental Services. My officials will be negotiating with representative bodies to deliver contract reform in line with the government’s agenda.
While falling outside of the scope of Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body recommendations, I also want to see all staff working within general practice, dental teams and community pharmacies across Wales receiving a fair, proportionate and equitable pay uplift. This is in recognition of the vital role all staff working within these sectors play in delivering primary care services in Wales.
I want to thank the trade unions and representative bodies for meeting me
over the last few days to discuss the pay review body’s recommendations. I am committed to continuing these discussions. We are committed to working social partnership in Wales and will use these structures to bring trade unions, employers and government together.
Following a series of meetings with trade unions and representative bodies this week, we have committed to continue to explore a range of other issues raised as part of those discussions.
The UK Government's financial settlement for Wales falls far short of what is required to meet expectations of pay awards which reflect rising inflation. However, I hope this announcement will go some way to recognise the hard work of our all our NHS staff, doctors and dentists throughout the pandemic and recovery efforts.
We continue to press the UK Government pass on the full funding necessary to make full and fair pay awards for public sector workers. Without this, we face very considerable challenges and difficult decisions.
However, we are committed to the pay review bodies processes and to working in social partnership with unions and employers to deliver the best possible outcome within the current funding we have available to us.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Senedd returns I would be happy to do so.