About the NHS pay review body
The independent NHS pay review body (NHS PRB) makes recommendations to the government on pay awards for nurses, health professionals and other NHS staff.
Final decisions on pay awards are made by the government. NHS Employers submits evidence to the review bodies, based on information collected from our policy board, our regular meetings with NHS HR directors and our online surveys.
2018/19 evidence - update as at 7 December 2017
The Secretary of State for Health has written to the NHS PRB Chair
providing a remit for the review body’s consideration of Agenda for Change pay in 2018/19. In his letter the Secretary of State says that:
- The government has adopted a more flexible approach to public sector pay to address areas of skills shortages and in return for improvements to productivity.
- The NHS PRB should continue to consider affordability when making its recommendations.
- In the 2017 Autumn Budget the Chancellor of the Exchequer provided additional funding for Agenda for Change pay awards as part of an agreement with Agenda for Change trade unions to boost productivity.
- NHS Employers is being asked to continue exploratory talks with Agenda for Change trade unions with a view to the unions obtaining mandates to negotiate a multi-year agreement.
The letter also says that any deal which is agreed would need to give valued staff a fair pay rise, alongside improving recruitment and retention and developing reforms which better reflect modern working practices, service needs, and fairness for employees. The letter does not prejudge the role of the NHS PRB in recommending the level of pay award that Agenda for Change staff should receive in 2018/19. The Secretary of State expects the NHS PRB’s recommendations to be informed by the outcome of the talks with Agenda for Change trade unions. The letter also makes reference to a letter from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to the NHS PRB Chair
in September 2017.
Our written evidence, on behalf of employers, to the NHS PRB was submitted in December 2017 and will be published in due course.
2017/18 evidence submitted to the NHS PRB
In our evidence to the NHS PRB last year, our key messages were:
- The NHS continues to face unprecedented financial and service challenges. Managing pay cost remains an integral part of meeting these challenges.
- NHS organisations continue to face workforce supply issues in relation to some of the health professional staff groups. The current shortage is essentially a supply issue and is not related to pay levels.
- NHS PRB evidence highlights the importance of further pay and contract reform and that meaningful pay reform must be in a balanced package of changes to include terms and conditions, as well as pay structure reform.
- Employers have told us that they support the same percentage increase to be made to all staff within the average one per cent cap.
- There is no evidence available at national level to justify or support differential increases in 2017/18. The average one per cent envelope is not enough to make any significant targeting worthwhile. To do so would be seen as inequitable and potentially damaging to staff morale and employment relations.
You can download a copy of our full 2017/18 NHS PRB submission here.