DoH misses benefits of NHS payroll change

By staff

The new pay system to which over one million NHS employees have been transferred is not yet proving value for money, a public spending watchdog has warned.

The National Audit Office (NAO) warned the Agenda for Change programme, while simplifying pay administration, could not be proved to be value for money because the Department of Health (DoH) failed to put in place any central monitoring arrangements.

It said the knowledge and skills framework, which defines the skills needed for a certain role, had not been fully implemented by many trusts.

And it criticised the DoH for not having placed enough emphasis on persuading trusts to roll the new methods out.

“It was no mean feat transferring virtually all NHS staff on to a new pay system within a very constrained timeframe, and this element of Agenda for Change has been a success,” NAO chief Tim Burr said.

“On the other hand, the benefits that should have come with this new simpler system, such as more effective working, have not been wholly achieved. So the programme as a whole has further to go before it achieves the intended value for money for the taxpayer.”

Agenda for Change is estimated to have saved £1.3 billion by 2008/09, according to the government.