Pay rise for NHS staff

Proposal for at least a 9% rise over next three years.

NHS Scotland staff will be offered at least a 9% pay rise over the next three years - the highest NHS pay uplift being offered in the UK.

The proposals will see all 147,000 NHS ‘Agenda for Change’ staff benefit from a pay uplift, linked to an examination of potential reforms to some terms and conditions.

NHS staff who will receive the pay rise include all nurses, midwives, allied health professionals and paramedics.

Subject to agreement by NHS Unions, employees currently earning up to £80,000 will receive a minimum cumulative uplift of 9%, and those earning £80,000 and over will receive a flat rate increase of £1,600 a year. Staff not at the top of their pay bands will also receive any incremental progression pay uplifts they are due.

By 2020/21, Scottish staff will be significantly better paid than NHS staff anywhere else in the UK. For example, relative to staff in England:

  • Pay for a porter at the top of Band 2 will be over £1,200 more
  • Pay for a healthcare assistant at the top of Band 3 will be over £1,450 more
  • Pay for a healthcare support worker at the top of Band 4 will be over £800 more
  • Pay for a ward nurse at the top of Band 5 will be over £1,030 more
  • Pay for a paramedic at the top of Band 6 will be nearly £1,280 more
  • Pay for an advanced nurse practitioner at the top of Band 7 will be over £1,500 more

The pay rise is linked to exploring reforms of terms and conditions, including sickness absence policy, organisational change and future protection of earnings, policy on time-off for those who have worked additional hours, and appraisal and career progression - details of which will be discussed in partnership between NHS employers, unions and the Scottish Government over the course of this year. Details of the changes to the terms and conditions will be agreed by December 2018.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said:

“Our NHS is built on the dedication and hard work of healthcare staff up and down the country. They are our health service’s beating heart, and I’m proud to be offering them this significant pay rise in recognition for the work they do caring for the people of Scotland.

“We were the first government in the UK to lift the pay cap, and today I can confirm we intend to deliver a pay rise of at least 9% to our hardworking NHS

‘Agenda for Change’ staff over the next three years.

“We’re doing all we can to recruit new talent and retain existing staff, ensuring NHS Scotland has the right skills and experience to meet future demand and rising expectations. Today’s announcement will help make our NHS an attractive employment option for many.

“In this 70th anniversary year I am delighted that we have been able to offer NHS Scotland staff a pay settlement which not only matches NHS England deal - but exceeds it.”


The proposal will now be put to staff in a consultation that lasts from 2 July to 15 August 2018. The proposal affects Agenda for Change staff. It does not affect doctors, dentists or senior managers.


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