The offer applies to all NHS Agenda for Change staff in England, including nurses, paramedics, midwives, physiotherapists and non-medical staff. It does not apply to doctors, dentists and senior managers.
The new deal was signed off despite divisions between unions, with the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Unite rejecting the offer and warning of an escalation in strike action to hit hospitals and emergency services.
What are NHS staff getting?
For the 2022-23 financial year, NHS staff will receive a one-off payment worth 2 per cent of their annual salary.
They will also get an “NHS backlog bonus” which “recognises the sustained pressure facing the NHS following the pandemic and the extraordinary effort staff have been making to hit backlog recovery targets”. This bonus will be worth between £1,250 and £1,600 per person, based on an individual’s experience and pay band. The average nurse in pay band 5 would receive £1,350.
Between the 2 per cent payment and backlog bonus, each NHS staff member will get at least £1,655.
For the 2023-24 financial year, NHS workers are being offered a pay rise of 5 per cent.
When will NHS staff receive the lump sum payment?
The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) said staff can expect to receive the lump sum as part of their June pay packet.
“We’re working on this at pace as we understand the importance of getting this into pay packets as soon as possible,” the DHSC said in May.
Guidance issued by NHS Employers to NHS trusts in England sets out plans to allow the lump sum to be split across multiple months in cases where “any changes to monthly income will directly impact the value of these payments”.
This applies to people who receive universal credit or other benefits as, according to the guidance, “any lump sum or backdated earnings may affect how much Universal Credit received in the month they are paid”.
The payment can be spread across the current financial year until 31 March 2024.
To receive the lump sum in instalments, staff must request this from their employer before 5 June to ensure payroll deadlines are met.
Will there be more NHS strikes?
Despite the deal, some unions have said walkouts will continue as they are not happy with the pay offer.
About 280,000 RCN members are currently being re-balloted to see whether they support a fresh wave of industrial action.
If it receives a legal mandate for further strike action, the union said it would call “strike action across the full NHS” – a step up from previous strikes, which have involved approximately 50 per cent of NHS trusts and other NHS employers.
Unite – mainly comprising of ambulance staff – has vowed to escalate strike action in light of the decision, saying the deal “will not solve the huge issues surrounding understaffing that are destroying the NHS”.
The union’s national lead officer, Onay Kasab, said the offer “does not go far enough to stop the recruitment and retention crisis that is collapsing the NHS” and that “fresh strike action will continue to be scheduled”. Unite has an ongoing strike mandate.