NHS Employers has advised the pay review bodies that next year’s pay award for doctors, dentists, nurses and other healthcare staff should not exceed the government’s 2% inflation target.
In its evidence to the pay review bodies NHS Employers said employers were conscious of the general financial position of the NHS and felt that an award in line with the inflation target is the most that could be afforded.
Gill Bellord, head of pay and negotiations at NHS Employers, said: “The most employers expect to be able to afford is an uplift in line with the government’s inflation target. Any greater award would almost certainly lead to further reductions in posts, vacancy freezes and a failure to meet healthcare and financial targets.
“Employers feel strongly that on grounds of fairness the pay award should be the same for all NHS staff groups.”
Many staff working in the NHS will receive an automatic incremental pay rise next year as they move up their pay scales.
“Employers have told us that it is important, however, that the review body takes account of the impact on staff morale that an award below the inflation target could have,” Bellord warned.
NHS Employers based its evidence on the views and experiences of NHS organisations in England gathered through an online questionnaire over the summer.