2014/15 DDRB evidence

Doctors talking

26 / 9 / 2013 10.24am

Our evidence was gathered through a continuing programme of employer engagement with the full range of NHS organisations on their priorities for national pay and conditions of service. 

We have held discussions at meetings of regional human resources directors, the NHS Confederation and other employer networks throughout the year. We have held one-to-one meetings with NHS chief executives. There has also been substantive discussion with the NHS Employers policy board, its medical workforce forum and the employer representatives on the joint negotiating committees on doctors and dentists terms and conditions.

To complement these broader qualitative employer engagement activities, during May 2013, we collected views of HR directors through the first Health Service Journal (HSJ) and NHS Employers Barometer survey. We also gathered employers views from a subsequent online survey, which sought feedback on recruitment and retention, workforce supply, and NHS pension issues. Responses to these surveys have reinforced and confirmed the key messages in this submission.

Download the NHS Employers organisation's submission to the Doctors' and Dentists review body 2014/15

Key messages

Some of our key messages are detailed below:

  • The imperative for NHS organisations for 2014/15 will be to continue to meet the growing demand for high quality, compassionate patient services. The Francis report, the Government’s initial response and the subsequent review by the NHS England medical director all highlight the scale of the quality and organisational challenges facing the NHS. If patients are at the heart of all the NHS does then any changes to national pay and conditions have to be seen in this context.
  • Reform of national pay and conditions arrangements for doctors is needed to support the delivery of seven-day patient services and to provide financial sustainability for the future.
  • There is a desire for more flexibility around terms and conditions of service.
  • The NHS reward package remains highly competitive and is a valuable recruitment and retention tool.
  • To start the process of reforming the national pay system and changing the culture in the NHS, local employers have expressed the need for a clearer link between consultant pay progression and performance. Local employers continue to work to ensure that performance management and appraisal arrangements are robust to enable such changes.This link to performance now exists for other NHS staff groups.
  • Restraining the pay bill is essential to ensure the continued delivery of high quality patient services and to minimise job losses.
  • Even with no increase in pay scales, the pay bill is expected to increase due to the costs of incremental pay and other drift during 2014/15.
  • There is no evidence on grounds of the recruitment, retention or motivation from employers to support any increase in the national pay scales.
  • There is no evidence to support differential awards for different specialties either locally or nationally. NHS pay rates for doctors and dentists remain competitive.
  • The current national pay and conditions arrangements are increasingly not affordable for employers in the NHS, who are faced with the task of meeting growing demand and sustaining the quality of patient care while achieving unprecedented efficiency savings of at least £20 billion by March 2015.
  • NHS organisations are facing a growing and changing demand for care, at a time of tough financial pressures. Our priority is that available resources should be used to support improvements to the delivery of patient services and the necessity of retaining key staff.

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