Northern Devon Healthcare Trust has become the second organisation to pull out of the South West Pay Consortium.
In a statement the trust said it would now be concentrating on implementing the recent nationally agreed changes to Agenda for Change terms and conditions in a “fair and consistent way”.
The latest move comes after the consortium withdrew its previous threat of breaking away from the national Agenda for Change pay deal – on the condition that unions and employers get back round the table for new negotiations to cut staff pay. The consortium has proposed further changes to pay, terms and conditions that can be made within the existing AfC framework.
Northern Devon chair Roger French said: “In the limited time we have had to review the Consortium’s proposals, it is the Board’s very firm view that we will not take forward any proposal which takes our staff out of nationally-agreed terms and conditions.
“The challenge of securing high-quality, sustainable services at a time of extreme financial constraint in the NHS will require meaningful discussions with our staff. We want to be able to face this challenge knowing that we have the support and goodwill of staff to work in partnership with us.”
Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Foundation Trust was the first of the original 20 members to pull out in November last year.
Jeannett Martin, director for the Royal College of Nursing in the South West, welcomed the Northern Devon’s decision and urged other trusts to follow suit.
She added: “Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust’s withdrawal from the pay cartel is a testament to the thousands of RCN members across the South West region who have made their voices heard loud and clear that the cartel proposals would seriously impact on patient care and should be dropped.”
The decision by Northern Devon’s board means Devon Partnership Trust, Plymouth Hospitals Trust and Royal Devon and Exeter Foundation Trust arethe only NHS organisations in the county still in the consortium. Acute provider South Devon Healthcare Foundation Trust and community and social care provider Torbay and Southern Devon Health and Care Trust never joined the group.