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GPC's advice over staff pay

GPs are not obliged to meet Agenda for Change pay scales and conditions but may find the move 'essential' to recruit and retain nursing staff, the GPC is advising.

New guidance states that GPs should bear the effects of ignoring Agenda for Change in mind because of the shortage of 'appropriately skilled and knowledgeable' practice nurses.

Pay bands, maternity and sick leave pay and redundancy terms should all be considered as part of job 'evaluation exercises'.

Practice nurses were older on average than nurses in the rest of the NHS and therefore more sensitive to recruitment and retention issues, the report said.

The guidance stated: 'Increased costs associated with AfC should be weighed against the benefits of retaining skilled and knowledgeable staff who can undertake specific tasks, contribute to delivering the quality framework successfully, and therefore help increase the practice's overall income.'

The guidance reiterated the GPC's anger that no extra money was given to implement Agenda for Change.

GPC negotiators are contesting the Department of Health's position that the money was included in GMS and PMS funding.

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