What is the highest NHS pay band?

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Not all staff NHS staff are on the same types of contracts, which means that there is no single “highest pay band” in the NHS. However, for the majority of NHS staff, the Agenda for Change framework details how much people in each role get paid.

Agenda for Change is split into 8 bands (although Band 1 is no longer used), with Band 9 being the highest of these bands.

Based on 2022/23 rates of pay, Band 9 staff receive a basic salary of between £99,891 and £114,949. Staff in Band 9 move to the higher salary after 5 years of experience.

In addition to this basic pay, Band 9 staff may receive a High Cost Area Supplement if they are based in London, and they may also receive other additional payments if they work unsocial hours or are eligible for an RRP payment.

Some of the most senior NHS staff are on Very Senior Manager (VSM) pay bands. These pay bands are not strictly part of the Agenda for Change framework and involve different terms and conditions. For example, pay rises awarded across Agenda for Change staff are not necessarily reflected in VSM pay banding. In recent years this has meant that some Band 9 staff at the top of their grade may be paid more than their direct manager on one of the lower VSM pay bands.

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