Nhs Pay Modernisation in England: Agenda for Change (125)

 
9780102954562: Nhs Pay Modernisation in England: Agenda for Change (125)

The National Health Service (NHS) has successfully transferred 1.1 million employees on to a new simplified pay system. This was a substantial task which the NHS, in partnership with the trade unions, achieved in a short timescale. There are some examples of NHS trusts using 'Agenda for Change' to help introduce new roles. The Department of Health, however, did not put enough emphasis on getting trusts to develop these new ways of working to secure the full benefits from the new pay system, so the programme is not yet achieving the intended value for money. Agenda for Change has reduced pay administration in the NHS, simplified pay negotiations, and made it easier to estimate staff costs and monitor budgets. The National Audit Office (NAO) estimates that for 2007-08 the GBP 28 billion NHS paybill is broadly similar to what it might have been if the programme had not been implemented. The Department predicted that Agenda for Change would save at least GBP 1.3 billion by 2008-09 and that productivity would increase, but it did not put in place any central monitoring arrangements to show what impact the new contract has had on productivity. The only productivity measure available for the NHS as a whole shows that productivity continued to fall when Agenda for Change was introduced, though the rate has since slowed. A key element of Agenda for Change, the Knowledge and Skills Framework, which defines the skills needed for a certain role and provides a tool for reviewing their use in the workplace, has not yet been fully implemented by many trusts. Effective use of the Framework is fundamental to achieving the full benefits of Agenda for Change.

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National Audit Office
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