Letter to the Chancellor on NHS pay

03 July 2020
Sent by email

Dear Chancellor

It is expected that you will soon make a significant statement on the government’s plans to boost the UK economy.

You will agree that the NHS and its workforce need greater investment to deliver the improvements in healthcare services the public expects.

In recent months, the NHS has shown immense strength in the face of adversity and its staff have attracted even greater support from the public and politicians alike.

This pandemic has shone a light on the essential contribution these workers make, and the level of skill and commitment displayed. The public will expect the government to be mindful of this when the next NHS pay settlement is considered.

As the representatives of 1.3 million NHS staff, we believe it would be remiss of the government not to give assurances now that the immense commitment and dedication shown will be recognised in their pay.

NHS staff will soon be emerging from a three-year pay deal. The health unions believe that the government should commit now to early discussions and to bringing forward a meaningful early pay rise. The entire NHS team is vital to the delivery of services to the public.

It is essential that funding is also provided to ensure all those employed by organisations contracted or commissioned to provide NHS services can get an early pay rise too.

By working with us constructively, the government will be able to use this unique moment to demonstrate to NHS staff the value it places on them and its commitment to tackling the staffing shortages that have a tremendous impact on patient care.

We are not seeking a ‘Covid bonus payment’ in recompense for recent work. The pay deals signed in 2018 were a start after years of pay capping and freezes but did not restore the value lost over a longer period. More must now be done.

Across every role and every setting, there are large numbers of vacancies – including in nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions – that the NHS must fill so it can provide quality care for patients.

A fair pay award would not only make today’s health workers feel valued, it would also help to attract and retain the many more that will be needed if safely staffed and world-leading services are to be achieved.

The applause and kind words were a short-term morale boost for many health workers, but now it is time to begin these pay discussions without delay.

We are also writing to the Prime Minister detailing our request and will copy this letter to the Secretary of State for Health and health secretaries/ministers in the devolved governments.

Yours sincerely

Sara Gorton

Hannah Reed
Acting Secretary 

Jon Skewes

On behalf of NHS Staff Council (Staff Side) trade unions

Page last updated - 10/07/2020