NHS staff offered 6.5% pay rise over three years if they forfeit day's holiday

Photo of NHS staff offered 6.5% pay rise over three years if they forfeit day's holiday

Exclusive: Ministers hope £3.3bn deal over three years is near – but workers must agree to losing day’s holiday

The government is set to offer around 1 million NHS staff a 6.5% pay rise over the next three years but is insisting that health workers give up a day’s holiday in return for the £3.3bn deal.

Ministers hope they are close to finalising a package to give NHS personnel in England their first meaningful pay rise since 2010, after months of behind-the-scenes talks with union leaders.

Related: NHS England has one in 11 posts unfilled

The UK has fewer doctors and nurses than many other comparable countries both in Europe and worldwide. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Britain comes 24th in a league table of 34 member countries in terms of the number of doctors per capita. Greece, Austria and Norway have the most; the three countries with the fewest are Turkey, Chile and Mexico. Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, regularly points out that the NHS in England has more doctors and nurses than when the Conservatives came to power in 2010. That is true, although there are now fewer district nurses, mental health nurses and other types of health professionals.

Related: I love my job as a nurse – but I’m not sure how much longer I can carry on | Anonymous

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