Expert advice

NHS pay rise Q&A: what you need to know and what happens next

Quick guide to the 2021-22 pay round – wherever you are in the UK
illustration shows nurse next to pile of coins

Quick guide to the 2021-22 pay round – as unions consult members on the 3% award announced for health service staff in England and Wales

Who decides how much NHS nurses are paid?

Salaries for nurses in the health service are set by Agenda for Change (AfC), the band-based system for NHS pay, terms and conditions. It is UK-wide, but each country’s bands have their own salary values.

Every year, the independent NHS Pay Review Body (RB) makes non-binding recommendations to the government on the pay of NHS staff who are paid under AfC terms. Those outside this group are doctors, dentists and very senior managers.


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