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Scotland review of band 5 nursing roles gets underway

Band 5 nurses in Scotland who feel they are working above their pay grade can now apply to have their job re-evaluated as part of a government promise to review these roles.

Following a review of Agenda for Change in 2023, the Scottish Government agreed to roll out a process that would give all band 5 nurses in the country a chance to have their job reviewed.

“The review is intended to recognise the job you are required to do today as a band 5 nurse”

Colin Poolman

It came amid concerns that many band 5 nurses were working at a higher level but not being fairly paid for it.

An online portal has now been launched and band 5 nurses should be invited by their employers to submit an application form.

The completed application form will then need to be signed off by the nurse’s clinical nurse manager before going to a job evaluation panel to be matched against the national job profiles.

If agreed, the nurse applicant will be moved up to a band 6 and they will receive backdated pay from when it is agreed that they have been working beyond their job description, but no further back than 1 April 2023.

Colin Poolman

Colin Poolman

Colin Poolman, executive director of the Royal College of Nursing in Scotland, urged band 5 nurses to submit an application.

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Addressing nurses, he said: “The review is intended to recognise the job you are required to do today as a band 5 nurse.

“Nursing roles have grown significantly since the establishment of the current Agenda for Change job evaluation scheme, and many of you have told us that you no longer feel your banding reflects the level of knowledge, responsibility, and clinical skills that as a band 5 nurse you are required to demonstrate daily.

“If you are a band 5 nurse working in the NHS in Scotland, I would encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity to ensure your work is recognised through fair pay and banding.”

A commitment to review and modernise Agenda for Change was made by the Scottish Government as part of the 2023-24 pay deal.

The review took place last year and made a series of recommendations, which the government agreed to implement from 1 April 2024 onwards.

The recommendations included a 30-minute reduction to the working week for NHS staff; protected time for profession-specific learning; and a review of band 5 nursing roles.

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