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On-call payments adjustment postponed

The current structure by which hospital pharmacists receive payment for on-call duties will continue until 31 March 2010, the NHS Staff Council has agreed. The structure, originally agreed under the previous Whitley grading system, pays pharmacists approximately £2,500 per year to contribute to the on-call service.

Under the terms and conditions of Agenda for Change, the on-call arrangements are due to be adjusted, but the current structure was protected until the end of September 2008.

This protection period has now been extended until March 2010, during which a sub-group of the council will be convened to examine several aspects of on-call work and develop a new payment structure.

Dave Thornton, chairman of the terms and conditions committee, Guild of Healthcare Pharmacists, believes that this is good news for hospital pharmacists. The only structure of payment that is currently proposed to replace the Whitley model would result in a reduction in salary for most pharmacists who provide an on-call service, he said.

“We are aware of several trusts that [were planning to] revert to these payments in October,” he added. “The extension will prevent this from happening.”

The guild will work with the health sector of union Unite to ensure the views of its members are considered during further negotiations. Any proposals that are developed will be subjected to a ballot of union members.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10025505

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