Thank you for contacting me about NHS pay.
I recognise the sacrifice, commitment and dedication of NHS workers over the past year. I believe it is important to honour this but at the same time understand that the pandemic has had real consequences on public finances which cannot be ignored.
The Independent Pay Review Bodies will make recommendations in late Spring, when they will be considered by the Government. It is right that the Government does not pre-empt these recommendations and I look forward to examining them carefully once they are made public.
In the meantime, one million NHS staff continue to benefit from multi-year pay deals agreed with trade unions, including a pay rise of over 12 per cent for newly qualified nurses, with the average nurse pay now £34,000 per year; junior doctors' pay has been increased by 8.2 per cent.
I welcome the investment that the Government has already made in the NHS workforce, including £513m in professional development and increased recruitment, £30m on staff mental health support including wellbeing hubs and occupational health support, and the new bursary programme giving at least £5,000 each year to new nursing, midwifery, and Allied Health professional students.
I will, of course, continue to monitor this issue closely, and thank you again for taking the time to contact me.