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Trusts urge debate on national pay

The chief executive of the Foundation Trust Network (FTN), Chris Hopson, has questioned whether national agreements can deliver the savings needed for the NHS.

The body, which represents more than 200 NHS trusts across England, said it was time to consider setting pay regionally or on a Trust-by-Trust basis.

Hopson said Trusts completely supported a current wage deal by unions but said: “Looking to the next five years, the NHS urgently needs a major debate on whether the current approach to pay, terms and conditions is fit for purpose and affordable.”

He questioned whether enough was being done to reform annual increments - awarded irrespective of pay deals as staff build up experience.

Health minister Dr Dan Poulter said changes to NHS employee contracts were long overdue.

"Patient care lies at the heart of this. This is why discussions have been about making a much stronger link between providing high quality patient care and annual pay progression - with a much stronger emphasis on behaviours referenced in the NHS Constitution around compassion, dignity and respect."