RepsDirect No 226 - 11 December 2003

Head of Health, Gail Cartmail General Secretary, Roger Lyons

Early Implementer Interim Report

Here is the latest up date of progress within the Early Implementers this edition will include points of interest from the Joint Steering Group (JSG). One point that is common to all the EI sites is that progress on matching is taking longer that originally thought and this is reflected within this second report.

As in the last report to obtain a picture of the progress being made by the amicus-msf groups at these sites we asked the following questions:

  1. Density of members to reps and by department - please identify known gaps.
  2. % of matching completed - progress on matching, e.g. professional groups/departments matched.
  3. An overview on backfill i.e. are reps being released to undertake matching etc?
  4. Partnership working - how is this working?
  5. Hot issues - what are they, and what action is being taken to resolve problems?

The results are attached.


Lead Rep Mike Venny
RO Alice Grosvenor
Main areas of membership (reps) Pathology (6), Pharmacy (3), Speech therapy (1) EBME (2) Estates (1)

  1. The Density of reps to members is 1 : 12.
  2. Still issues about capacity and profiles. Aintree has assimilated 850 nurses on to the A4C pay scales together with 250 A&C grade staff of the 770 Job descriptions received 340 have been matched.
  3. No major problems at this time.
  4. Partnership working continues to develop. Impact on relationships with the Trust and in areas other than AFC. Starting to think through implications of embedding AFC process into ‘normal way of working’ in the Trust e.g. recruitment processes for staff in the future.
  5. The matching of the main groups of amicus-msf members has been put back until February 04 at the earliest. The RRP and lack of profiles, for most groups of our members, are causing the most frustration for colleagues.

Avon & Wiltshire

Lead Rep Patrick Smuts
RO Patrick Canavan
Main areas of membership (reps) Family of Psychology (7) MHNA (5) Speech Therapy (3) Pharmacy (0) CPHVA (5) Art Therapy (0)

  1. For Clinical Psychologists we have around 10 reps for around 150 members. For MHNA we have around 5 reps for about 50 members.
  2. It is difficult to get an accurate figure on how much matching has been done. They have split the matching in three phases; nurses first, which they have not yet completed. Information suggests about several hundred done with around 65% success in identifying a match.
  3. Backfill is still a problem and very variable. It reflects the recruitment position i.e. if they find it difficult to recruit in that area they also find it difficult to provide backfill.
  4. Partnership very poor with problems mainly around JDs.
  5. Communications within the trust are still challenging although they have improved. Getting additional matchers trained and the partnership within the trust. JDs are reaching the Matching panels without post holder agreement these Matching panels have refused to match in this situation and these JDs have been returned to the post holder. Arranging to meet the HR Director and Best Practice Facilitator.

Central Cheshire PCT

Lead Rep Jennie Kay
RO Alice Grosvenor
Main areas of membership (reps) Speech Therapy (2) CPHVA (4)

  1. Six reps covering almost 50 members .
  2. All JDs have been submitted and the matching is completed. Almost 70% of posts were not matched, approximately 900 staff, local evaluation has been under way since early October.
  3. Backfill is an ongoing problem as Locums with the right background are hard to find.
  4. Partnership is still working very well. Requests for more full-time union secondments are being considered.
  5. The new guidance for the factor plan that was issued to the E.I. sites has had the effect of making all the Band 5 profiles for most Allied Health Professionals redundant. KSF working party are working on job outlines.

City Hospitals Sunderland

Lead Rep Ruth Raynor
RO Karen Reay
Main areas of membership (reps) Pathology (7), Pharmacy (3), Speech therapy (4) EBME (1) Chaplaincy (1) School Nursing (2)

  1. Membership of 200+ and rising with 19 reps.
  2. 270 posts put forward for matching 64% of those jobs matched to profiles a further 150 job titles are awaiting national profiles which leaves 150 jobs to go for local evaluation.
  3. Backfill is still patchy and not being handled in away that supports the process.
  4. Since the last report partnership has improved the main area for concern is communication. This is in hand.
  5. A briefing for the ODP and NATN members is to be arranged.

Guys & St Thomas

Lead Rep Stirling Moss
RO Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe
Main areas of membership (reps) Pathology (8), Pharmacy (10), Medical Physics (2) PCD (0)

  1. Currently the ratio of reps to members is about 1-12. With no major gaps evident in the lay structure but some issues in areas with small numbers of members.
  2. It was assessed at 957 complete with 637 posts matching to profiles. This leaves 1197 posts still to do. 320 posts so far for local evaluation which was scheduled to start mid November.
  3. The amount of backfill has improved steadily over time. But as most of the amicus-msf jobs have yet to be looked backfill may become an issue again. More training courses for evaluators is to be run during December.
  4. This seems in the main to be very robust; management do seem to be making a genuine effort to work in the spirit as well as the letter.
  5. Management are concerned that the A4C project may not be completed within the current financial year running into the next financial year. This potential over run may cause some problems with respect to accounting.

Herefordshire PCT

Lead Rep Andrea Lewis
RO Chris Purvis
Main areas of membership (reps) CPHVA (2) Speech Therapy (1?) Psychology (1)

  1. 4 Reps in a membership of just over 40.
  2. 50% complete with 80 jobs matched and 200 local evaluations to undertake.
  3. This is the biggest problem with little or no backfill available.
  4. Partnership at Hereford is being put to the test due to issues outlined in 5.
  5. The matching process is causing great concern to Reps and together with Chris Purvis RO a meeting with the Project lead has been arranged.

James Padget (Great Yarmouth PCT)

Lead Rep Philip Gilbert
RO Mark Robinson
Main areas of membership (reps) Pathology (8), Pharmacy (1), Speech therapy (1) Med. Illustration (1) CPHVA (0) School Nursing (0)

  1. Membership density has increased. New reps in Pathology, Pharmacy and SLTs (PCT). Attempting to find a CPHVA rep. 10 A4C reps.
  2. 217 jobs have been completed, mainly nursing; clerical etc. 965 out of 1200 nurses have been matched. Other groups have not reached that level of completion due to the requirement for local evaluations and the lack of profiles. Matching is now nearing completion for the available profiles. More profiles are expected soon.
  3. Matching panels are taking place all the time with no reported problems. Locums, etc. have been arranged. Additional evaluators training took place on the 11th -14th November.
  4. Partnership is working in most areas, however there is still the old ‘top down’ approach from time to time.
  5. The national lack of progress on producing further profiles is also causing problems. The large amount of staff on terms and conditions inferior to that of Whitley is significant.

Issues such as RRP and On Call have not been touched yet. The areas that have little matching/evaluation are traditionally ours.


Lead Rep None
RO Ian Maidlow
Main areas of membership (reps) Pathology (1) Pharmacy (1) Theatres (1 NATN) Chaplaincy (0) EBME (1)

  1. Membership has grown over the last month and we have A4C reps in the following areas: Pharmacy, Pathology, Theatre Nurses and Medical Electro-Mechanical Technician.
  2. 350 jobs identified, 235 have been for matching 80 successfully matched, 155 for job analysis.
  3. Problems with backfill and matching/analysis training as the two issues are compounded by one and other and the specialist nature of Papworth and the complexity of the JAQs.
  4. Partnership is working well with management encouraging union organisation and involvement.
  5. The main issue is still the strength of the amicus-msf group at Papworth.

Papworth is the most challenging EI -with respect to organising- out of all the EI sites. We are currently attempting to speak to HR to arrange amicus access to team meetings to push the importance of our members being involved (and thus becoming reps) and to emphasise the working in partnership angle. To this end a meeting was arranged with members and with management, on the 4th November and two new A4C reps have come forward from the NATN.

Southwest London & St George’s

Lead Rep Andy Fuller
RO Jennie Bremner
Main areas of membership (reps) Family of Psychology (6) Family Therapy (3) Speech Therapy (1) Pharmacy (1) CPHVA (1) Arts Therapy (4)
Our one lay rep that wishes to take the lead is Andy Fuller, Pharmacy Department South West London and St George’s Mental Health Trust.

  1. The membership has grown since the beginning of the year with reps literally leaping out of the woodwork! However, we need more reps in speech and language therapy.
  2. Approximately 274 posts have been through matching with 80 posts matched and 180+ posts submitted for analysis.
  3. Backfill is quite good at this trust with staff also being paid a set rate of pay (in the cases of where they are p/t and matching is taking place on days when they do not work). Staff side agreed this.
  4. Partnership is going well with very positive links with the Chief Exec and the EI Project Director who are keeping a very keen eye/interest on things and dealing with complaints/problems in a positive way.
  5. Lack of profiles is slowing down the matching process, the potential application of ‘Pay in High Cost Areas’ supplement is an issue due to the geography of the trust and the trust is trailing a phased approach to assimilation.

West Kent Social Partnership

Lead Rep Sue Bates
RO Sarah Carpenter
Main areas of membership (reps) Family of Psychology (5) Family Therapy (1) Speech Therapy (0) Estates (0) MHNA (0) CPHVA (0)

  1. Membership in family of psychology - is still low but efforts to improve the organisation and increase membership are on going.
  2. In terms of matching, around 50% completion in areas that could match to profiles e.g. nursing. Problems with CPNs. The specific figures are that out of 250 jobs that have undergone the process 80 have matched with130-140 going to local evaluation as there are a lot of 'specialists' who do not match to a profile. Psychology has submitted job descriptions to their managers but they have not been sent on to HR. The feeling seems to be that managers will be looking at them to see if they can be 'grouped'.
  3. Some backfill, but not for any of our reps - mainly for Unison. Our reps not fulllly involved in the staff side, but are planning a campaign to assert their existence and recruit new members.
  4. Partnership seems to be working; a manager came to the recent EI mental health day. There is a basic fear from staff about the whole process though, so we have fed back how communication can be improved.
  5. Hot issues include:
    • Finding out about pay in high cost areas and what the Trust and other EI sites have done
    • Trust internal communication is a problem with some managers and staff not realising West Kent was an EI site.

Amicus Training

A number of modules have been developed and the plan is to modify existing Whitehall Health sector courses, for new reps, and a regional program for existing reps will be organised. Some of the issues covered will include:

Contact your lead rep or regional office for further details.

JSG Report

At recent JSG meetings these main areas were discussed :

These issues pose some very interesting problems/opportunities for us as a union the lack of job analysts could be one area where we could encourage our members to become involved and bolster the workplace groups.

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