Health Secretary Humza Yousaf image
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf

The Scottish Government has revealed that healthcare staff in Scotland have been offered the largest pay package in the history of the NHS, with a £568 million increase in investment.

160,000 NHS Agenda for Change staff, including allied health professionals (AHPs) that work with assistive technologies like occupational therapists and speech and language therapists, will be offered an average 6.5 percent increase in pay in 2023/24.

Agenda for Change is the NHS pay system for all staff directly employed by NHS Health Boards except for some very senior managers and staff within the remit of the Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body.

The new pay offer includes the commitment to deliver the most progressive package of terms and conditions reform in decades, according to the Scottish Government. It also includes the commitment to modernising Agenda for Change to support workforce recruitment, sustainability, and retention.

All staff will further receive a one-off pro rata payment of between £387 and £939 depending on banding.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “We have engaged extensively with trade union representatives over recent weeks, leaving no stone unturned to reach an offer which responds to the key concerns of staff. Our healthcare staff have shown how dedicated and hardworking they are time and again and I cannot thank them enough for their commitment, particularly over the last few challenging years.

“Over the two years of this £1 billion of increased investment in NHS Agenda for Change, a newly qualified nurse would see their pay increase by 15.8%, and experienced nurses at the top of band 5 would see their pay improve by over £4,700.

“This ensures that Scotland’s NHS Agenda for Change staff are, by far and away, the best paid anywhere in the UK. In fact, for NHS England to catch-up with Scotland the UK Government would need to offer increases in 2023/24 of over 14% at the top of band 5, over 13% at the top of band 6, and over 12% at the top of band 7.

“We have taken difficult decisions to find this money within the health budget because we know that our staff are the very backbone of the NHS and we are committed to supporting them, particularly during a cost of living crisis. I am grateful for the continued efforts around the table and that the trade unions will now put this to their members.”

See the full breakdown of example increases for different NHS Agenda for Change bands here.

This new £568 million Scottish NHS Agenda for Change investment for 2023/24 follows a pay increase in 2022-23, where staff were offered an average pay uplift of 7.5 percent.

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