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Summary – the 1% pay offer to NHS staff in England

On 4 March 2021, the Department for Health and Social Care submitted evidence to the NHS Pay Review Body, and the doctors’ and dentists’ review body, assuming a headline 1% pay award for NHS staff in 2021/22. This was made in the context of the wider economic and fiscal challenges and the Government’s decision to freeze the pay of many other public-sector workers in 2021/22. The announcement was criticised by various groups representing NHS staff, including the British Medical Association and the Royal College of Nursing.

The Government has asked the two NHS staff pay review bodies to make their recommendations by May 2021. While the pay review bodies are independent, and will also receive evidence from unions and NHS employers, the Government will make the final decision on NHS pay in England (for further information to NHS pay in other parts of the UK please refer to section 1.5 of this briefing).

Further information on the DHSC proposals for NHS pay, in the context of wider public sector pay policy, is available in the Library briefing on Public Sector Pay (March 2021). [1]

A useful explainer on the current debate about NHS pay, and the history of pay review bodies, has been produced by the Institute for Government.[2]

[1]      Commons Library briefing paper, Public Sector Pay, p9

[2]      Institute for Government, NHS pay (March 2021)

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