NHS staff including nurses and hospital consultants in England will receive a three per cent pay rise after the government accepted the recommendations of the independent pay review body.

The rise is far higher than the 1 per cent recommended by the Department for Health and Social Care – but far below the demands made by unions.

Health chiefs said it was important that the deal is “fully funded” by Government – saying they were awaiting the small print of the plans announced last night.

Officials said the pay rise would mean an additional £1,000 per year for the average nurse and a £540 annual increase for porters and cleaners.

The pay rise will be backdated to April 2021, with the 3 per cent also covering dentists, paramedics and salaried GPs.

The Royal College of Nursing said the announcement was “shambolic” and would not keep pace with inflation. The union had called for a rise of 12.5 per cent.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid said: "NHS staff are rightly receiving a pay rise this year despite the wider public sector pay pause, in recognition of their extraordinary efforts. We asked the independent pay review bodies for their recommendations and I’m pleased to accept them in full, with a 3 per cent pay rise for all staff in scope, from doctors and nurses to paramedics and porters.

"We will back the NHS as we focus our efforts on getting through this pandemic and tackling the backlog of other health problems that has built up.

"I will continue to do everything I can to support all those in our health service who are working so tirelessly to care for patients."

The announcement was finally made on Wednesday night, having been expected in Parliament earlier.

RCN Interim General Secretary and Chief Executive, Pat Cullen said: “After a shambolic day, comes a shambolic announcement.”

“When the Treasury expects inflation to be 3.7 per cent, ministers are knowingly cutting pay for an experienced nurse by over £200 in real-terms.

She said: “This announcement is light on detail. It must be fully-funded with additional monies for the NHS and ringfenced for the workforce bill.

“Nursing staff will remain dignified in responding to what will be a bitter blow to many. But the profession will not take this lying down. We will be consulting our members on what action they would like to take next.”

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The British Medical Association complained that the deal does not cover 61,000 junior doctors. 

The government said the review body was not asked to make recommendations for such groups, which are covered by multi year deals. 

BMA council chairman Dr Chaand Nagpaul said: "It is disappointing that today’s announcement of a 3 per cent pay uplift for doctors in England does not adequately recognise the extraordinary contribution of doctors working in the most challenging period in their professional loves.”

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers and deputy chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said: “This is a positive outcome for NHS staff and, importantly is above the proposed one per cent uplift which many felt was insufficient, but this will need to be fully funded.”

“The pay award will be welcomed by employers at a time when funding and services are stretched to unprecedented levels, and organisations continue to grapple with the rise in demand for care, but it will be important to understand the funding detail,” he said.

Union Unite, which represents 100,000 health workers, said the pay level was “grossly inadequate and underwhelming”.