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Bureaucracy blamed for KSF failure

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A leading NHS manager last week suggested that the Knowledge and Skills Framework was failing to work because it was too bureaucratic to implement.

David Amos, director of workforce at University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said that while he supported
the goals of the career development scheme, he would not be attempting
to implement it fully.

‘We have got to do something dramatic with the KSF – KSF is not working. It is very bureaucratic and I wonder if this is the process people need in their careers,’ Mr Amos said last week during a panel debate at NHS Employer’s annual staff engagement conference in London.

Mr Amos said that fully implementing the framework at his trust would actually distract from his wider goals of improving the skills of his workforce.

‘I am worried that if we put energy into implementing the KSF we will miss massive amounts of work with people sitting down with their leaders and having quality appraisals,’ he said.

But Mike Jackson, Unison’s senior national officer, criticised Mr Amos’ position.

‘We should look for success stories that come from the KSF – then we will be able to sell its benefits,’ he said.

Mr Jackson emphasised that unions and trust boards had a key role to play in ensuring that organisations in England continued to implement the KSF.

In Scotland and Wales, ministers are directly performance managing the scheme’s implementation.

‘If organisations fail to [implement] it they should be held to account,’ Mr Jackson said.

As NT exclusively reported last week, KSF uptake remains patchy, even though the scheme should have been implemented alongside Agenda for Change pay scales four years ago.

Figures collected by unions show that 33% of NHS staff in England still do not have a full KSF job outline and last month junior health minister Ann Keen wrote to trusts, urging them to implement the scheme (NT News, 15 July, p3).

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Here here Mr. Amos. As an experienced qualified nurse of over 15 years, I have most benefit from sit down, face to face appraisals with good managers. Training needs can be identified at the same time. All can be documented in personal files. What is the need to over complicate things and make non user friendly. We are constantly reminded that notes regarding patients/services users should be reader friendly, let us apply the same rules to the appraisal format.

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