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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP


£568 million for Agenda for Change (AfC) pay deal in 2023/24.

Healthcare staff across Scotland have been offered the largest pay package in the history of the NHS, with a £568 million increase in pay.

160,000 NHS Agenda for Change staff – including nurses, midwives, paramedics, allied health professionals, porters and others – will be offered an average 6.5% increase in pay in 2023/24.

The offer includes the commitment to deliver the most progressive package of terms and conditions reform in decades and a commitment to modernising AfC Change, introduced nearly 20 years ago, to support workforce recruitment, sustainability and retention.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf MSP said:

“We have engaged extensively with trade union representatives over recent weeks, leaving no stone unturned to reach an offer which responds to the key concerns of staff.

“Our healthcare staff have shown how dedicated and hardworking they are time and again and I cannot thank them enough for their commitment, particularly over the last few challenging years."

Kenneth Gibson MSP added:

“Over the two years of the SNP Government’s £1 billion of increased investment in NHS Agenda for Change, a newly qualified nurse would see their pay increase by 15.8%, and experienced nurses at the top of band 5 would see their pay improve by over £4,700.

“This ensures that Scotland’s NHS AfC staff are, by far and away, the best paid anywhere in the UK.

“In fact, for NHS England to catch-up with Scotland the UK Government would need to offer increases in 2023/24 of over 14% at the top of band 5, over 13% at the top of band 6, and over 12% at the top of band 7.

“We have taken difficult decisions to find this money within the health budget because we know that our staff are the very backbone of the NHS and we are committed to supporting them, particularly during a cost of living crisis.”


A total of £568 million has been committed for AfC Change pay in 2023/24 increases. This equates to an average uplift of at least 6.5% for all staff at Band 8a and below.

All staff will also receive a one-off pro rata payment of between £387 and £939 depending on banding.

The offer also reaffirms previous commitments to work to reduce the working week, protect learning time and review band 5 job nursing profiles.

Examples of increases over the 2 years (2022/23 and 2023/24), experienced:

• Porters (band 2) receive more than £3,750 extra (19.1%)

• Healthcare support workers (band 4) receive more than £4,000 extra. experienced AHPs (band 5) receive more than £4,700 extra (14.4%)

• Paramedics (band 6) receive more than £5,360 extra (13.2%)

• Advance nurse practitioners (band 7) receive more than £5,900 extra (12.4%)


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