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Pay rise of just 1% for nurses in 2016/17

From 1 April 2016, there will be a 1% pay increase to all NHS staff on the Agenda for Change pay system, as the government has accepted the NHS Pay Review Body recommendations.

This was recommended for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the independent advisors also called for a 1% increase to the High Cost Area Supplement minimum and maximum payments.

This comes after the Review Body got feedback from major organisation such as the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), who asked them “to recognise the impact of inflation on the living standards of NHS nursing staff and to recommend a meaningful pay uplift to repair the damage incurred to recruitment, retention, morale and motivation by public sector pay restraint.”

However the body, chaired by Jerry Cope, argued that “a prolonged period of lower pay settlements do not appear to have produced widespread recruitment and retention problems”.

Yet, the longer-term sustainability of this approach until 2020 will be dependent on how the economic picture develops, and “may become more challenging”, it added.

In 2013, Jeremy Hunt said that the 1.3 million NHS staff would not get any more than a 1% rise until March 2016. If the government takes the body's advice then these restrained pay rises are set to continue.

“We do believe there needs to be pay restraint. The spending review period we agreed is to the end of March 2016 and until that period there needs to be pay restraint,” he said at the time.