CSP criticises ‘unacceptable’ NHS pay delay in England

NHS staff in England will be made to wait for any pay rise next year after the government was late kickstarting the 2022-23 salary-setting process.

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The health unions - including the CSP - this week received the NHS Pay Review Body’s (PRB) ‘remit letter’, issued by the Westminster government for the 2022-2023 pay period.    

The Treasury has asked the PRB to develop pay recommendations for England NHS staff covered by Agenda for Change.  

The letter sets out the scope and focus of the PRB’s planned deliberations over the coming months and invites unions and employers to submit their evidence in support of a pay increase.   

But the government asked for the PRB to report with recommendations by May 2022, meaning any pay rise will not be available when the next financial year begins on April 1. 

Claire Sullivan, CSP director of employment relations and union services, said: 

'It is simply unacceptable that NHS staff, working under extreme pressure, will not get a pay rise on time next year simply because the government could not organise itself to send a letter. 

‘It feels symbolic of a government that constantly praises NHS staff but never backs up those fine words with anything useful – in this instance, getting a few sides of A4 over to the PRB. 

‘In discussion with our members and with fellow health unions, we will now set out our evidence to the PRB ensuring a strong voice for CSP members.  

‘We will highlight the many issues people currently face, including staff shortages, overwork and exhaustion, rising national insurance levels, unstable inflation and growing levels of mental ill-health related to work.’ 

Review Body members will review this evidence, alongside that from employers and government, before making recommendations to government ministers, who will then make the final decision on the NHS pay award. 

The PRB remit letter asks for recommendations specific to NHS staff in England.  Remit letters are expected to follow from the Welsh and Northern Ireland health ministers. The CSP expects pay rates for NHS staff in Scotland will again be determined through talks between the Scottish government and staffside unions.  

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