The UK government had originally proposed a 1% increase which had received a backlash from Labour, medical unions and NHS staff
A 3% pay rise from the UK government to NHS staff within England has been heavily criticised as being “paltry”, “appalling” and “shambolic” by medical union leaders.
Those who are receiving the increase, which is backdated to April of 2021, include nurses, consultants, paramedics, and dentists, as well as salaried GPs.
The government has said that for the average nurse within England, this will mean an additional £1,000 a year. The extra sum of money is expected to equate to around £540 for NHS cleaners and porters.
The workers are being recognised for their contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic during an “unprecedented year”, says that the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).
This comes after two-thirds of adults within the UK have now received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, the health secretary has announced. Sajid Javid has said on Twitter: “Two-thirds of adults across the UK have now had two jabs.
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said that it is a real-terms increase, but Donna Hales from the campaign group Nurses United said to Sky News: “It’s not even an attempt at a pay rise.”
She said that she was “very insulted, very angry, very deflated, very disappointed… but to be fair, I’m not surprised.”
She added: “We do need a proper 15% pay rise to bring us back in line.”
Some medical unions, including the Royal College of Nursing (RCN), have described the sum as “shambolic” and “insulting”.
The RCN added that “the profession will not take this lying down”.
The organisation said that Her Majesty’s Treasury expects inflation to be set at 3.7%, so “ministers are knowingly cutting pay for an experienced nurse by over £200 in real-terms”.
In a video on Twitter, Mr Javid said: “I’m sure that this pay rise will make a real difference to people’s lives… showing them how much we value and respect their incredible contribution to our nation.”
And in a statement, he said: “NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts.
“We asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and I’m pleased to accept them in full, with a 3% pay rise for all staff in scope, from doctors and nurses to paramedics and porters.
“We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up.”
The government had initially offered a 1% pay rise to the NHS staff which had been firmly contested by the nation’s medical unions and was regarded as “insulting” by workers within the NHS.
This comes after billionaire Jeff Bezos has thanked his Amazon employees, as well as customers for paying for his leisure voyage to space, but his remarks have since prompted criticism from many, including politicians and celebrities.
But on Wednesday evening, the DHSC had confirmed that they have accepted the recommendations of the independent NHS pay review bodies in full and will therefore be increasing their offer to a rise of 3% in line with the “unique impact of the pandemic” upon the country’s health sector.
The government had been facing a backlash after failing to announce an expected pay rise for NHS staff within England despite the confirmation of the offer having been widely expected on Wednesday.
Helen Whately had delivered a ministerial statement on the NHS in the Commons on Wednesday afternoon, but her opening statement omitted any mention of the pay dispute.
But while the expected announcement failed to materialise in the Commons, the government did answer calls for the offer to be published before MPs break up for the summer recess on Thursday afternoon.