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Letter from the Health Secretary to Pat Cullen on a separate pay spine for nursing staff

16 March 2023

From the Rt Hon Steve Barclay MP
Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

39 Victoria Street


Sent by email

16 March 2023


Dear Pat, 

In the offer that the Government has made today to the NHS Staff Council, one of our most important commitments is to address the specific challenges faced by nursing staff in terms  of recruitment, retention and professional development. 

As the offer makes clear, this will mean working with NHS Employers and unions – including the RCN – to improve opportunities for nursing career progression.

Reflecting on the conversations we have had since I became Health Secretary, I wanted to confirm that this work will involve: how to take account of the changing responsibilities of nursing staff; and the design and implementation issues, including scope and legal aspects, of a separate pay spine for nursing staff exclusively. 

The Government intends to complete this work such that resulting changes can be delivered within the 2024/25 pay year.

I look forward to engaging with you and with your members as we progress this work. 

Yours ever,


Page last updated - 14/08/2023