Scots NHS staff to receive pay rise denied to English

Hospital ward
Image caption Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said NHS workers will receive the increase

The Scottish government has said NHS staff will receive a 1% pay rise after 1 April.

This is in contrast to England, where staff will not be given the 1% increase recommended by the NHS pay review body (PRB).

Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil said NHS workers will be paid the rise on top of annual increments for developing professional skills.

His UK counterpart, Jeremy Hunt, has said the pay rise was "unaffordable."

Scottish health workers earning less than £21,000 will also receive an additional sum to increase their pay by £300 in total.


Mr Neil said: "I was clear when Jeremy Hunt first suggested reneging on the 1% pay offer for NHS staff in England that we would block that move here and that we would fully implement the modest increase in Scotland.

"Today, I can confirm we'll deliver on that approach in Scotland's NHS, ensuring our hard-working and dedicated staff rightly receive the wage increases they were promised."

The Scottish government confirmed the pay rise will be consolidated - meaning it will be reflected in pensions.

In a statement, Mr Hunt said the PRB's recommendations for a pay rise on top of automatic increments, were unaffordable and would risk the quality of patient care.

He said: "The PRB proposals suggest a pay rise that would risk reductions in front line staff that could lead to unsafe patient care.

"It is not possible to maintain appropriate numbers of front line staff, give a general pay rise of 1% and pay for incremental progression."

Unions in England have said the proposals amount to a pay cut for NHS staff, and have threatened industrial action.

Tom Waterson, chairman of Unison's Scottish health committee, said they were delighted Scottish workers would receive the recommendations of the pay review body.

"We would urge the UK government to also commit to paying health service staff the recommendations in full.

"We went into these negotiations in good faith and we expect the clear recommendations of the pay review body to be delivered.

"It is good news for NHS staff that the Scottish government have committed to doing that."

Under the proposals a Scottish Band 5 nurse would be £238 a year better off than a colleague on the same grade in England at the end of the financial year 2014/15.

Dr Brian Keighley, chairman of the BMA in Scotland, said: "We are pleased that the Scottish government has taken a different approach to that of the Westminster government to deliver a fairer pay award for NHS staff in Scotland.

"We acknowledge this as a positive first step towards recognising the hard work and commitment of NHS staff in Scotland and addressing the well understood challenges of recruitment and retention of medical posts.

"However this uplift, which the Cabinet Secretary himself describes as 'modest', is yet another year of below inflation pay awards for doctors and other NHS staff who are fundamental to driving NHS service change and are continuing to deliver high quality care to patient despite intense and increasing workload pressures."