NHS to take over staff pay negotiations

8 Jan 04
The Department of Health is to devolve responsibility for negotiating staff terms and conditions to the NHS Confederation.

09 January 2004

The Department of Health is to devolve responsibility for negotiating staff terms and conditions to the NHS Confederation.

While the department will retain a small unit to develop human resources policy, around 50 of its staff will be transferred to the new NHS Employers' Organisation (EO). The EO will be part of the confederation, which insisted it would remain independent of government.

The move is in line with the government's policy of giving the NHS more responsibility. Recent contract negotiations, including those with GPs and consultants, were led by the confederation on behalf of the department.

One of the new organisation's first tasks will be to implement the new doctors' contracts and the Agenda for Change pay system for most other NHS employees.

Employers' organisations in local government and higher education are being used as potential models for the health service EO. It is likely to be funded through a top-sliced allocation from NHS funds – subscriptions are all but ruled out because 92% of English trusts are members of the NHS confederation but the EO would represent all trusts.

The department's human resources director, Andrew Foster, said the EO would provide an authoritative voice for NHS employers. 'This exciting new organisation will play a vital role in working with the department to develop policy and then advising on its practical impact on the NHS,' he added.

Confederation chief executive Gill Morgan said: 'This will bring real added value by giving responsibility for, and ownership of, the HR agenda to the service.'

PFjan2004

Did you enjoy this article?

Top