Reprioritising existing work [Withdrawn]

Guidance to consider which non-urgent work can be re-prioritised in order to help manage your workforce priorities.

27 March 2020

The following DHSC guidance was withdrawn on 7 July 2022 and is now archived. 

See the latest guidance regarding COVID-19.

Agenda for Change pay progression arrangements

For the duration of the pandemic, the usual arrangements that require staff to demonstrate or show that they meet the requirements for the role will be paused. See Annex 23

Trusts must continue to ensure that staff are appropriately registered, are cleared by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and safe to work. This means that trusts should arrange to open pay step points when they become due, unless there are concerns that cannot be resolved through, for example, further support/training. Staff have the right to appeal if they disagree with any local decision about pay progression. The presumption is that staff should progress to the next pay step point.

Supporting professional activities (SPAs) for consultants and SAS doctors 

SPA time is important for consultant and SAS doctors and it will be vital that some supporting professional activities continue, especially where they assist with COVID-19 work. However, there may be scope for some SPA time to be reprioritised in these exceptional circumstances, in order to create capacity.

Staff may be working outside of their customary clinical roles, and in such circumstances the opportunity for continued training, supervision, feedback and reflection is essential to continuing clinical safety.

Employers should work together with their doctors to agree where time may be able to be made available for clinical or non-clinical work supporting the COVID-19 effort.

Normal arrangements regarding SPA time must resume after the period of the pandemic.

Private medical work

Employers should discuss with their doctors any private medical commitments that could be postponed so that they are able to provide additional capacity to the NHS during the period of emergency.

Time away from the training programme for doctors and dentists in training

Health Education England (HEE) has issued advice regarding doctors and dentists in training. The aim is to pause training rotations to help maximise the ability of trusts to focus on frontline priorities, given capacity to support training/mentoring will be limited during the emergency. More information can be found on the HEE website.