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Tuesday 25th October 2016

NHS pay deal 'rushed'

30th July 2007

A report has found that a deal that increased pay for NHS workers was rushed in and has proved costly.


The King’s Fund also says the Agenda for Change initiative may not increase productivity or improve the quality of care for patients.

Under Agenda for Change new pay bandings for one million NHS workers, except doctors and managers, was introduced in 2004 giving a 10% pay rise over three years.

But researchers at the King’s Fund concluded the new structures were rushed in, a lack of proper implementation may mean patients do not feel the benefits and it exceeded cost estimates with an overspend of £220 million in 2004/05.

Case studies and interviews with officials, union representatives and managers were conducted at 10 NHS Trusts on Agenda for Change by the King’s Fund.

Chief executive Niall Dickson said the "limited but important study" showed few signs that Agenda for Change had "delivered increased productivity or transformed practice".

He said a failure to have a robust, independent audit of the cost and impact of the reforms was indefensible.

NHS Employers, which represents trusts on workforce issues, said the original intentions of Agenda for Change was to give NHS staff better and fairer pay with a view to improving recruitment and retention.

"This has been achieved and I think it is something to be celebrated," said deputy director Alastair Henderson.

The Royal College of Nursing said it was still "early days" for the reform but believed the benefit for patients would be realised.


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