NHS Scotland staff have received an offer of a 5% pay rise for the year 2022/23.
Prices are rising by 9% in the UK right now, which is the highest rate in four decades.
So, how much will the pay rise be for NHS workers across the UK, when will it be paid and who will it be awarded to?
Here’s what you need to know.
How much will the pay rise be for and when will the money be paid?
In Scotland, NHS workers have been offered a 5% pay rise, which they are now considering.
An announcement about the 2022 pay rise for NHS workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including how much it will be and when workers can expect to receive it, is due in the next few days.
Royal College of Nursing general secretary Pat Cullen said: “Any day now ministers will announce the next NHS pay award and it needs to be a significant one.”
What have NHS Scotland workers been offered?
The Scottish Government offered a 5% pay rise to NHS Scotland Agenda for Change staff on Wednesday 15 June, which is the largest single year increase since devolution.
The deal would benefit more than 160,000 employees including nurses, paramedics, allied health professionals and healthcare support staff.
Depending on roles and experience, front line workers would receive pay rises ranging from around £1,000 to £2,400.
The offer, which is being considered by staff, will be backdated to 1 April 2022 if accepted.
It is the second year in a row that the Scottish Government has offered a record high pay deal to NHS Agenda for Change (AfC) staff.
The 2021/22 settlement provided an average 4% increase.
Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “Our NHS Agenda for Change workforce – like nursing and midwifery staff, porter staff, and therapy staff – have long had the best pay and conditions in the UK, and with today’s offer of a 5% pay rise we’re demonstrating our commitment to ensuring that continues to be the case.
“It is a demonstration of how much we value our NHS staff who have worked tirelessly to keep us safe during the course of the pandemic. We’re building on NHS Scotland staff being the best paid in the four nations.
“This has been another exceptionally challenging year for our health service and I am pleased that the Scottish Government is able to recognise the service and dedication of our healthcare and support staff.”
Who decides how much money NHS workers get paid in each of the devolved nations?
For Agenda for Change (AfC) staff In England, Ministers at the Department of Health and Social Care and Treasury decide on any NHS pay rise following the NHS Pay Review Body (NHSPRB) report, which has not yet been published.
NHS pay is considered a devolved issue; therefore, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland can either match a decision made in England or implement their own individual solution.
Wales and Northern Ireland are using the Pay Review Body process to help with their decisions on a pay award in 2022/23.
Why do NHS workers say they need a pay rise?
Ministers have asked the NHS pay review body to recommend a similar pay rise award to the 3% NHS workers received in 2021 this year, according to industry magazine The Nursing Times.
Industry experts say that NHS workers are finding it difficult to manage the increasing costs of living and they need a higher wage to help them with day-to-day costs.
Royal College of Nursing general secretary Pat Cullen called on ministers to “be bold” when deciding how much money to add to the pay packet of nurses, doctors and other NHS professionals.
She said: “If the pandemic was not enough to make ministers appreciate nursing’s value, then the escalating cost of living crisis and the nursing exodus must make them wake up.
“This research backs up our own which found that more than a decade of real-terms pay cuts has left the nursing profession in a dreadful position.
“With inflation heading into double figures, too many are struggling with living costs, including choosing between eating and heating and it’s not even winter.
“[Ministers] must be bold and give nursing staff a pay award that beats inflation by 5%.”
What has the government said about a pay increase for NHS workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland?
A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said the government is waiting for recommendations from independent pay review bodies before they make a decision on pay for workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
“We are incredibly grateful to all our NHS staff and we recognise the pressures caused by the rising cost of living.
“NHS staff received a 3% pay rise last year, increasing nurses’ pay by £1,000 on average despite a public sector pay freeze, and we are giving NHS workers another pay rise this year.
"No decisions have been made, and we will carefully consider the recommendations from the independent pay review bodies once we receive them."
What have the unions said?
Unions have warned that a 3% pay rise this year would fall well below the cost of living, with inflation running at 9%.
The Trade Union Congress, which represents trade unions in England and Wales, has said that if the government goes ahead with a 3% pay deal for 2022/2023 inflation would mean nurses could still remain £1,600 worse off this year.
When did NHS staff last get a pay rise?
NHS workers last received a pay rise in 2021, when they were given at least a 3% pay increase.
It was given to nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists and salaried GPs.
The 3% pay rise was given to workers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
For the average nurse, this meant an additional £1,000 a year, while many porters and cleaners received about £540.
At the moment, a newly qualified nurse earns approximately £25,000 and the average nurse makes £33,000.
The 3% rise came after the Government changed its mind after having previously pledged to give NHS workers a 1% pay rise.
At the time, this was described as a “slap in the face” by industry leaders.
In Scotland, NHS staff were offered an average 4% pay rise.
Who will the pay rise be awarded to?
In line with previous NHS pay rises, the 2022/23 pay rise is expected to be given to nurses, paramedics, consultants, dentists, salaried GPs and also healthcare support staff.