Agenda for Change set to protect IT salaries in the NHS

IT managers in the NHS should find their pay protected under Agenda for Change, a top-to-bottom reorganisation of salary scales in the NHS that came into effect this week.

They had feared that they could face pay cuts because the new pay structure rewards front-line staff and, despite negotiations, there were no job profiles for IT professionals.

Assist – which represents NHS IT managers – said that by working with the Department of Health Agenda for Change steering group and other bodies, it has developed a series of generic job profiles that reflect how their area of health informatics is structured.

This would ensure that different strands of health informatics roles were fairly represented and valued when compared with other NHS roles, said Assist chairman Andrew Haw.

“We believe that this has now been achieved,” he said. “However, there will be jobs for which the pay banding will not be enough to attract and retain staff. In these cases, it is possible for a recruitment and retention premium of up to 30 per cent to be awarded,” he said.

“We also believe that the profiles now fairly measure and equate the value of health informatics qualifications and the equivalent level of experience.”

However, an insider close to the Agenda for Change negotiations said that the broad range of pay bands for IT staff left a great deal to local discretion, and added that none of the early implementer sites had used it to boost IT staff pay.

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