Foundation trusts told to review financial plans


04 / 8 / 2015 11.10am

Monitor has written to all NHS foundation trusts asking them to review their plans in view of the 'unprecedented financial challenge' this year.

The letter makes clear that all providers, including those planning a surplus for this 2015/16, should 'look again at their plans to see what more can be done' in an effort to bridge the funding gap.

The letter explains that various initiatives, including Lord Carter’s work on the model hospital and the central procurement initiative, will be available in due course and that the approvals  process for management consulting spend is already in place.  It says that best practice guidance in minimising agency costs, and the agency controls will be issued shortly.

In relation to the workforce, NHS Foundation trusts have been asked in particular to focus on:

  • ensuring vacancies are filled only where essential
  • ensuring that the existing acute inpatient safe staffing guidance has been adopted in a proportionate and appropriate way and that rosters are rigorously managed to deploy substantive staff efficiently across all required shifts including evenings and weekends
  • implementing fully the Agenda for Change 2013 agreement on pay progression so staff only progress when local performance standards are met
  • ensuring that trusts have implemented the one year increment freeze from 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2016 for all staff on spine point 34 and above as agreed in the national Agenda for Change pay settlement earlier this year.
Further information

In March 2013, amendments to Agenda for Change were introduced that included an explicit requirement that progression through all pay points is conditional on meeting the required local level of performance. 

Our helpful toolkit supports employers to link pay with performance, in line with the Agenda for Change flexibilities. This toolkit aims to help you make decisions on how to link pay progression and performance in a way that is appropriate to your individual organisations, guiding you through the relevant processes and offering examples of where it is already being implemented effectively

The 2015 pay settlement for Agenda for Change staff groups included a freeze on incremental pay progression for staff on pay point 34 of the pay structure. 

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