NHS bands simplified

We all know the NHS pay bands refer to the different levels of pay that people who work for the NHS receive – but what does each band actually mean? In this blog, we offer an overview of the NHS bands in a way that is easy for healthcare newcomers to understand. 

Band 2

This band includes entry-level jobs such as domestic support workers and healthcare assistants. People that come in at this level usually do not require that many qualifications.

Please note that band 1 has been closed to new entrants/merged with band 2 since December 2018 as part of the 2018 pay deal.  

Band 3

Assistants in physiotherapy, speech and language, dietetics, sexual healthcare and occupational therapy are some examples of roles that fall under the band 3 bracket. 

Band 4

Band 4 requires candidates to have a certain level of knowledge and the qualifications to match. Jobs can include assistant practitioner, pharmacy technician, dental nurse and theatre support worker. 

Band 5

To become a band 5 registered nurse, you will typically need to have a nursing degree that is approved by Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC), as well as relevant clinal experience. 

Band 6

Now we’re talking managerial or experienced roles such as senior, junior sisters, deputy ward managers, or specialist nurses. Naturally, you will take on more responsibilities, such as the planning and evaluation of care – as well as overseeing nursing practice. 

Band 7

Band 7 encompasses managerial, professional and clinical specialist roles. For example:

advanced nurse practitioners, advanced speech and language therapists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapy team managers and radiographer team managers…the list goes on!

Band 8 

At this level, you will very likely be in charge of a team and expected to drive results and business initiatives. Band 8 roles include advanced clinical practitioners, pharmacy consultants, paramedic practitioners and specialist occupational therapists.

Band 9

Band 9 includes top-level roles such as directors and chief executives. This of course where you will achieve the ‘maximum’ NHS salary. 

We wish you all the best in your career progression – do reach out to our consultants if you have any questions or are looking for your next role! 

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