I pay tribute to every single person working in the NHS during this incredibly difficult period. Their hard work, dedication and professionalism has been a lifeline to many thousands of people, while they have, at the same time, selflessly cared for those individuals and families who have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one.
As part of our efforts to support NHS staff in the fight against coronavirus, the Government has committed to ensuring the NHS has the resources, staff and funding it needs so it can continue to deliver world class care for everyone, whilst keeping staff safe at the same time.
I know the immediate concern is keeping NHS staff safe and ensuring they have the protective equipment theyneed. That’s why the Government is working to ensure that all NHS staff and their families are able to get regularly tested for coronavirus, while also ramping up the production and delivery of personal protective equipment.
Annual pay awards for NHS staff are determined by an independent and transparent pay review body process. Pay has already been set up to 2020-21, as part of a deal that was reached in 2018. That deal was negotiated and agreed upon with the NHS trade unions, and represented one of the largest public sector pay increases in several years. Starting pay for nurses, for examples, has risen by over 12 per cent since 2017-18, while the Government also agreed a pay deal that provides junior doctors with a minimum 8.2 per cent pay rise over four years.
The pay review bodies will make pay recommendations for future years at the appropriate time, but I know the Government wants to ensure that the NHS continues to attract, retain and reward staff for their hard work.
The fight against coronavirus is a national effort, and the Government is committed to giving NHS staff the additional support they need throughout it.