Finance secretary for Scotland, Derek Mackay, has announced that nurses working in the country will see their pay increase by 2% or 3% in April 2018.
In his draft budget plans for 2018-19, Mr Mackay revealed that the 1% public sector cap will be lifted, and workers earning less than £30,000 per year will get a pay rise of 3%, while those earning more than £30,000 will get a 2% increase.
It features alongside a package of support for primary care in Scotland, with £110m being invested into general practice to support the implementation of the new GP contract, and £2m being allocated for training practice nurses.
The Budget document also states an intention to plough £3m over the next four years into training ‘a further 500 advanced nurse practitioners’, as well as plans to deliver an extra 1,600 training places for nurses and midwives (on top of the 1,000 already announced) and train 500 more health visitors.
Scotland will also maintain free university tuition for nursing and midwifery students.
Royal College of Nursing director for Scotland Theresa Fyffe, cautioned that ‘we have yet to see the detail on how this pay award will be funded’.
She said: ‘We have been clear that the NHS cannot be expected to fund this from existing budgets’.