The Department of Health, NHS Employers and ambulance unions have agreed paramedics will be re-banded nationally from band 5 to band 6.
The new deal for paramedics in England will see them move up the pay scale from band 5 to band 6 where appropriate. This is in recognition of the increasing responsibilities of being a modern paramedic. It also means paramedics will be able to earn more as they progress through the Agenda for Change pay scale.
Initial funding will be agreed by the Department of Health, NHS England and NHS Improvement. Funding in future years will be linked to agreements between Ambulance Trusts and commissioners following the Urgent and Emergency Care Review (UECR).
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:
Our dedicated paramedics do a vital job helping patients when they need it most so I’m very pleased that we have agreed a new pay deal with unions. In recognition of their increased responsibilities we have agreed to look at re-banding around 12,000 paramedics where their job description matches the requirements of the new band 6 profile, moving them up the pay scale and making sure we are able to better recruit and retain paramedics in the future to ensure patients will continue to get the very best care.
UNISON Head of Health Christina McAnea said:
This agreement shows what can be achieved when everyone works together in the interests of both patients and staff. The banding issue alone may not solve the drain of paramedics from the ambulance service, but it will certainly make it a little easier for trusts to hold onto experienced staff.
Ken Wenman, Lead Chief Executive, Association of Chief Executives (AACE) and Chief Executive of South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust said:
We are really pleased that this agreement on pay banding has been reached, which recognises the additional clinical skills and knowledge ambulance paramedics now have and will continue to develop. Patients will undoubtedly benefit from this important decision as ambulance services across the country help to transform urgent and emergency care services in England, treating more patients outside busy hospitals.
Under the new banding, paramedics will be expected to develop and provide the necessary skills put forward by the UECR. The UECR sets out a clear vision for the ambulance service to change from a service based on a model of transportation to one of clinical assessment and treatment. This will to help ambulance trusts to become more of a mobile treatment service that best suits patient needs.
Sharon Holder, GMB National Officer, said:
GMB has campaigned for many years to ensure all ambulance staff receive fair pay. This agreement is a step in the right direction. The GMB is pleased the DOH has finally realised paramedics need to be paid properly.
We will now work with ambulance employers to ensure the details of this agreement are properly implemented.
Unite national officer for health Sarah Carpenter said:
We believe and are pleased that it has now been recognised after a number of years raising concerns that our members were not appropriately rewarded for the vital role they perform. We look forward to working with employers and the other ambulance unions to finally implement this pay deal.
Paramedics whose job description is matched to the new band 6 profile, will move from a pay scale paying from circa £21,000 to £28,000 to circa £26,000 to £35,000. New paramedics appointed after September this year will have a maximum 2 year consolidation of a learning period at band 5 prior to moving to band 6.