IT staff issue health warning to NHS over pay reform plans

IT
staff at the NHS could walk out if their salaries are cut as part of a radical
restructuring of pay scales, experts warn.

The
‘Agenda for Change’ programme, which will be rolled out across the UK from 1
December, is designed to tackle pay inequalities for one million NHS employees,
but IT staff could lose out.

The
Department of Health has not released a breakdown of how IT was affected by the
new pay structure at early adopter sites, but evidence from City Hospital
Sunderland showed a pay range for all but the most senior IT staff of between
£11,500 and £18,600.

According
to the Chartered Management Institute, the average IT manager in the UK
earns more than £50,000.

Experts
said an IT exodus would pose a serious risk to services, at a time when the NHS
is investing around £6bn in IT systems.

Jill
George, a member of the national executive council of the Amicus union, told Personnel Today’s sister magazine Computer Weekly that many NHS IT staff
were "incredibly angry", and would leave if the changes go ahead.

The
Department of Health said that it was working closely with professional bodies
to ensure the new job profiles accurately reflect the roles in IT.

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