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Contracting Blog

IT Pay Caps in the NHS

18/08/2017

The National Health Service in the UK has found itself frequently in the news recently for various shortfalls. But are any of these attributable to insufficient IT management.
In late 2015 the NHS introduced restrictions in pay rates, the reasoning was to bring contracting IT personnel pay rates more in line with permanent employees, causing much outrage at the time.  Critics hit back arguing that the NHS would be denied the top experts who would choose to take contracting positions elsewhere for more money.  
Figures speak for themselves with agencies reporting a decrease in non-medical contractors such as IT personnel when compared to previous years prior to the cap introduction.  However, there has not been a reduction in the need for specialist IT professionals causing reports of projects unable to meet deadlines or budgets.  These delays have meant that other proposed projects necessary for the progression of the industry have found themselves on hold.
State of the art technology is undeniably a necessity when it comes to essential healthcare.  And with an increasing aging population strain is being put onto existing record storage systems and databases that are well below the standard of other evolving industries.  Emphasis is usually put on the medical staff as opposed to non-medical.  However, without the adequate support from non-medical personnel, medical staff are finding their jobs increasingly difficult and much time is wasted which could be better apportioned elsewhere.
Official figures have not been published as to the extent of the effect that the caps on agency spending have had.  However, with in excess of 6,000 healthcare opportunities currently advised and much reporting on issues with short staffing and project delays it can be assumed that the effect has been detrimental.  With this in mind when we look at the excessive reporting of majority opinion that patient care has deteriorated significantly over the past year, it is no band aid that this service needs, but rather a full check-up where all areas are given the consideration they deserve before all confidence in the NHS is lost altogether and it finds itself unable to recover.
 



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