Health visitor role in Scotland given new banding, with salary to match

Re-evaluation agreed with NHS employers will add more than £5,000 to starting pay

Re-evaluation agreed with NHS employers will add more than £5,000 to starting pay

Picture: Alamy

The starting salary for health visitors in Scotland will rise by more than £5,000 as part of a deal that includes a new pay band and job description in recognition of workload.

The agreement between NHS employers and health unions will see the role move up to band 7, adding more than £6,000 to the top point of the grade for the role.

Role re-evaluated

A review group jointly chaired by the RCN and the Scottish Executive Nurse Directors group, which provides strategic leadership for the country’s nursing and midwifery workforce, evaluated the job as a band 7 post on the NHS Agenda for Change pay scale.

This means eligible health visitors will start on a salary of £33,222, progressing up to £43,471. At present, health visitors usually start at band 6, which begins at £28,050 and rises to £37,010.

An RCN spokesperson said that the changes will apply to all health visitors currently on band 6 whose workload is in line with the revised job description.

It is hoped that the move will improve recruitment and retention; of the 1,298 band 6 health visitor posts across Scotland, 9.5% are unfilled.

‘Health visitors deserve more recognition for what they do’

RCN Scotland’s Norman Provan.

NHS boards in Scotland are expected to implement the agreement ‘in the coming months’, and the changes to pay will be backdated to 3 December 2018, the RCN said.

RCN Scotland associate director Norman Provan said: ‘The RCN pushed to have the job re-evaluated and we are pleased that the process confirmed our position: that health visitors deserve more financial recognition for the job that they do.

‘The new job description and banding have been agreed nationally and we are now looking for health boards across Scotland to apply this for their health visitor workforce.’

NHS Lothian nurse director Alex McMahon, who co-chaired the review group with Mr Provan, said: ‘I am sure this will assist in recruitment and retention of this staff group and support the highest standards of care being delivered to children and families.'

To become a health visitor, a registered nurse or midwife is required to complete a postgraduate diploma in specialist community public health nursing – health visiting.

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