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NHS pay deal: what if I'm at the top of my band?

 Josie Irwin 6 Apr 2018

RCN lead negotiator Josie Irwin talks about the impact of the deal for members at the top of their pay band.

Nurses at top of pay band
Fifty per cent of NHS staff are at the top of their pay band – a significant number – so getting as much money as possible for these experienced staff to help persuade them to stay in the NHS was at the forefront of our minds going into negotiations.
The vast majority of staff at the top of their pay bands will see a 6.5% rise in their pay over the next three years. This was the most that could be achieved in the negotiation, while welcoming in long overdue reform of Agenda for Change.
For staff in Bands 2 to 8c, this will be made up of a salary increase of 3% in year one, 1.7% in year two, and 1.7% in year three, with an additional lump sum of 1.1% in April 2019 – more than the 1% expected from the NHS Pay Review Body.
Staff at the top of points 8D (£83,258) and 9 (£100,431) will see their rise capped at the value of the top of 8C. This means that staff at the top of 8D and 9 will be guaranteed a rise of £4,496 over three years, which equates to 5.4% at 8C and 4.48% at Band 9.

We wanted to achieve a pay award for our members that starts to close the gap inflationary gap. But we also wanted reform that will enable all staff to progress to the top of pay bands quicker, that makes promotion meaningful by removing overlaps and higher starting salaries to help recruitment and retention.

In previous years, due to overlapping pay points between bands, it has been possible for some staff at the top of a band to receive more from a pay rise than those in the lower band at the same pay point.
These inconsistencies have been sorted out in the pay deal.
This is the biggest pay rise in ten years from a government committed to austerity, and the 6.5% increase for the majority of NHS staff will help to ease the financial pressures on those at the top of their bands.
If you’re still unsure about the new pay deal will benefit you, visit our website or attend one of events around the country to get your voice heard.
For specific results for your pay band, head to the NHS pay calculator.

Josie Irwin

Josie Irwin

RCN Associate Director of Employment Relations


Josie is the RCN’s chief negotiator. Her role includes providing leadership on pay and reward for nurses and health care assistants and direction on employment issues, including workforce planning, the working environment, health and safety and diversity.

Page last updated - 05/09/2018