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NHS Confederation chief quits over “pay-as-you-go” HR plan

28 May 2010

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The head of the NHS Confederation has left his post following criticism of a recently scrapped “pay-as-you-go” HR initiative.

Steve Barnett (pictured) resigned following criticism of a proposed “member model project”, which would have seen NHS Employers, a body that represents trusts in England on workforce issues, turned into a “pay-as-you-go” HR service, effectively selling HR services to the NHS.

The Department of Health (DH) subsequently axed the proposed new service after fewer than 20 trusts signed up for it. Its decision to reinstate the NHS Jobs website also had an impact.

The DH also raised concerns about conflicts of interest in the way that contracts were negotiated.

An audit report from PKF also found that the Confederation’s trustees were “misled” about the amount of money that had been pumped into the scheme, which stood at £3.4m before the plug was pulled in March.

Mr Barnett, who was also a former NHS deputy director of HR, announced his intention to leave his post as chief executive of the Confederation at the end of June following conversations with the organisation’s new chairman Keith Pearson.

Copyright © Press Association 2010

NHS Confederation