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Wednesday 26th June 2019

NHS national pay should be dropped

13th November 2012

The Reform think tank has said the health service should scrap national pay agreements and replace them with performance-related, local agreements.

Pound Sign

The think tank's report, Doctors and Nurses, said the "glaring contradiction" in the government's ideas for the health service was crippling plans to make improvements to the NHS.

The report outlined the need to make reforms to the primary care service. It said: "Despite evidence of the variations in quality and productivity, national contracts have preserved a virtual GP monopoly over primary care."

"Primary care largely remains a cottage industry with many small and often inefficient practices delivering highly variable care quality. To improve the quality and productivity of primary care, and also ensure that out of hospital care is more coordinated, it is essential to radically change primary care."

The authors of the report said national pay agreements for NHS workers undermined the government's wish to improve the efficiency and quality provided by the health service.

Nick Seddon, deputy director of Reform, said: "The current negotiations on NHS pay are a test for the new secretary of state. There is a glaring contradiction between his goal of a higher quality NHS and his Department's support for national pay arrangements."

However the chair of the British Medical Association's council Dr Mark Porter responded: "Nationally agreed contracts are fundamental to a national health service.  Regionally negotiated pay would undermine the national ethos of the NHS, waste resources, and lead to recruitment problems for some areas."


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