‘Unsocial hours’ pay arrangements need to be restructured in support of seven-day NHS service improvements

Danny Mortimer

13 / 1 / 2015 1.24pm

Unsocial hours payments in the NHS need to be restructured, along with a range of other inhibitors to change, to help provide a better, safer and more responsive service for patients, the NHS Employers organisation has said.

In its submission to the NHS Pay Review Body (which covers almost all NHS staff except senior managers and doctors) NHS Employers said that, in addition to, improving care, the further development of seven-day services will lead to a more efficient use of NHS resources.
NHS Employers said wider changes to national pay and conditions, including changes to unsocial hours provisions, must be negotiated with health unions to develop a new employment package that is fair to staff and could support wider services at all hours. Possibilities including paying more hours in the week as ‘plain time’, adjusting enhanced unsocial hours payments and various flexibilities to enable adequate staffing at all times.
It said such changes would return greater efficiency to the NHS and support future growth of services, for example by making better use of expensive diagnostic equipment and facilities.
In parallel, NHS Employers will continue urging significant changes to the doctors’ contracts which are over a decade old and include significant barriers to improving seven-day care – barriers explored in NHS Employers’ submission to the Doctors and Dentists Review Body published today.
Danny Mortimer, chief executive of the NHS Employers organisation, said:
“Our submission makes it clear that improvements in seven-day working will help the NHS to run more efficiently. For this to happen, the pay and terms and conditions of service for all NHS staff need to continue to adapt to make them more affordable and sustainable.
“Unsocial hours payment arrangements are one of the key issues that need to be addressed and we are keen to work with national trade unions to explore the scope for agreeing a fair package of pay, terms and conditions which is fit for the future and provides the best care for patients seven days a week.”
The full submission can be viewed here: www.nhsemployers.org/pay2015
Notes for editors:

  • The NHS Employers organisation is the recognised body for employers in the NHS, supporting them to put patients first. See www.nhsemployers.org for more information.
  • Unsocial hours payments are additional payments made to NHS staff for working evenings and weekends 
  • Follow Danny Mortimer on Twitter at @NHSE_Danny and NHS Employers on Twitter at @nhsemployers

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Email: mike.foster@nhsemployers.org
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