RepsDirect No 281 - 11 June 2004

Head of Health, Gail Cartmail General Secretary, Derek Simpson

The Pay Review Body Reports on Early Implementers

The new Review Body for Nursing and Other Health Professions (NOHPRB) is - like its predecessors - independent. Its role is to make recommendations to the Prime Minister and the secretaries of state in England, Wales and Scotland on the remuneration of the staff groups which it covers. When considering its recommendations the review body takes account of:

The review body will take evidence from government departments and the NHS trades unions each year.

What has NOHPRB been doing in light of the three year 10% pay deal? It was agreed last year that the review body would monitor the trialing of AfC in the 12 each implementers trusts in England. All these trusts were visited to assess the impact of AfC.

The NOHPRB reports of its findings were published in May. They identify a number of key issues. Importantly these issues reinforce a number of the priority areas which Amicus has identified as part of the current review of AfC arising from the experience of the EIs .The review body has commented:

Agenda for Change has the potential to provide great benefits for NHS staff and the Service as a whole. The visits to the Early Implementers have provided very useful pointers to ensure that the national rollout is carried out smoothly. The key issues to be addressed prior to national rollout appear to be:

  • affordability in relation to other potential pressures on budgets, for example changes to the consultant and GP contract;
  • the impact of releasing staff involved in implementing Agenda for Change along with people to conduct panels both in terms of maintaining service delivery and the financial impact of providing backfill;
  • the amount of central support for training job matchers and assessors and for responding to queries;
  • assessing the Job Evaluation system to ensure that it adequately measures a range of skills and qualifications and that excessive use of recruitment and retention premia is not required;
  • ensuring that the system for remunerating unsocial hours working provides incentives for staff to cover shifts at short notice and does not create perverse disincentives; and
  • the degree of local autonomy to vary terms where both parties agree.

The full review body report is available from the following website:

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