Thank you for contacting me about NHS pay.
The passion, commitment, and specialist knowledge of our NHS staff is part of what makes our NHS so special. Front line NHS workers played a vital and unique role throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and I know we are all grateful for their dedication. I am glad that the recommendations of the independent NHS Pay Review Body and the Review Body for Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration were accepted last year, meaning NHS staff received a three per cent pay rise when pay was frozen in the wider public sector.
I welcome the fact that the Government accepted in full the recommendations from the NHS pay review bodies for 2022/23. That means a pay rise of at least £1,400 for more than one million NHS staff, including nurses, paramedics and midwives, with the lowest earners receiving a pay rise of up to 9.3 per cent. In that context I do not think that a 19 per cent pay request from nurses is reasonable, especially as it would add to wage inflation pressures across the wider economy.
I have been briefed on the impact of strike action at our local hospitals and have been reassured that the delivery of emergency care has not been negatively impacted. Whilst I sympathise with the issues facing the nursing workforce, I cannot support the industrial action because of the potential impact current and future action may have on patient care.