Posted: Fri 5th Mar 2021

NHS staff in Wales ‘deserve a pay rise’, says Health Minister after criticising UK Government’s ‘artificial ceiling’ for English workers

North Wales news and information

Health Minister Vaughan Gething has said Wales will not be setting an “artificial ceiling” on NHS pay in the same way the UK Government is proposing for health workers in England.

Mr Gething said he understood why NHS staff will be “feeling hurt, upset and a little angry” at the UK government plans to increase pay in England by just one per cent.

It has led to criticism that the uplift amounts to a real-terms pay cut for frontline staff.

Mr Gething said NHS workers in Wales “deserve a pay rise.”

The NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) advises on the pay of NHS staff across all UK nations and the Welsh Government has made suggestions to the body.

During today’s Welsh Government press conference, Mr Gething said he was waiting to see the outcome of their review in the near future.

He said: “We certainly have not done what the UK Government has done and tried to set an artificial ceiling on the payroll that should be provided.

“We think that our staff do deserve a pay rise and we’re asking pay review bodies for evidence for determination and advice on what there should be.

“We want to make sure that the UK government are in a position to properly fund that pay rise.

“I understand why so many staff across our NHS will be feeling hurt and upset and a little angry at the evidence that the Department of Health and Social Care at the UK level have provided.

“As I say, when our evidence is published, you’ll see we have not taken that approach.”

Responding to the Health Minister’s comments, British Medical Association Welsh Council, Dr David Bailey said: “We met with the Welsh Health Minister this morning and could not have been clearer that the UK Government’s recommendation of a one per cent pay rise for doctors was nothing short of an insult to a profession which has gone above and beyond during the pandemic.

“The Health Minister has publicly recognised that doctors deserve a pay rise, and we implore him to ensure that it is fair, given that doctors have given their all during the last year – their sacrifices deserve to be recognised.

“We welcome confirmation from the minister that the Welsh Government’s DDRB submission will be published imminently, and we look forward to discussing the DDRB outcome with Welsh Government prior to its implementation.”

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