Letter to the Prime Minster on NHS pay

03 July 2020
By email

Dear Prime Minister

Earlier this week, your speech on boosting the UK economy through investment in building programmes made repeated mention of NHS infrastructure.

It is clear that any public spending on refurbishment or new buildings must be accompanied by investment in both the existing and future NHS workforce.

In recent months NHS staff have shown immense strength in the face of adversity and have attracted huge support and appreciation from public and politicians alike.

You have also spoken proudly about the work of NHS staff and talked movingly about the kind of care you received personally. It is testament to the NHS that in ordinary times and in periods as extraordinary as these, every patient receives such high-quality care from a diverse and dedicated team.

As the representatives of 1.3 million NHS staff across the UK, we have today also written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to call for the discussions on the next NHS pay round to be brought forward.

NHS staff will soon be emerging from a three-year pay deal. The health unions believe the government should commit now to early discussions and to bringing forward a meaningful early pay rise.

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

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 long held the NHS back.

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 much 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 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.

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