The ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has shown us more clearly than ever the huge contribution made by all out healthcare professions, from NHS doctors and nurses to our community care workers.
That is why earlier this year, as your Member of Parliament, I voted to provide the NHS with an additional £33.9 billion by 2023/24; a significant increase in every year of this Parliament. And additional funding was also provided specifically to deal with the pandemic. The NHS is one of our cherished institutions and this demonstrates my commitment to properly fund it and reaffirms the commitment I made to the whole of Burnley when I was elected.
The passion, commitment, and specialist knowledge of our NHS staff is part of what makes our it so special and I recognise that staff morale is vital to maintaining staff commitment to services. How we value and retain staff is critical.
On pay specifically, following constructive negotiations between NHS employers and trade unions, I am pleased to say a new deal will see a 6.5 per cent pay rise over three years for one million NHS nurses, midwifes and other Agenda for Change workers. Those on the lowest salaries in the NHS will also see some of the largest proportionate pay rises: the lowest NHS starting salary will increase year on year from £15,404 to £18,005 in 2020/2021 and many nurses and healthcare assistants will enjoy pay increases of at least 25 per cent. Ministers set aside £800 million to support the deal for 2018/19, and the long-term funding settlement for the NHS referred to above will fund the pay rise over the remaining two years.
Finally, I want to add that I am proud the NHS has once again been rated the best healthcare system in the world, something that is only possible thanks to the dedication and hard work of all NHS staff, supported by a strong economy. That’s why this pay rise is the right thing to do.