Imminent culture shock faces HR directors in NHS

HR directors in the NHS will be operating in a completely different environment in three years’ time, according to the health service’s most senior HR professional.

Andrew Foster, director of workforce at the Department of Health, told delegates at the Healthcare People Management Association’s conference in Glasgow that by 2008, HR directors would be under increased financial pressures, and the emphasis would be on greater staff productivity.

“Directors need to start thinking about workforce planning and not over-recruiting at this stage,” he said. “There will be quite a change of emphasis, which will require a rethink of strategies.”

He also revealed that by the end of last month, more than 80% of NHS staff in England had been moved on to the new Agenda for Change pay system. The original target was 100% staff assimilation by the end of September, but Foster said he was happy with the figure achieved so far.

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