Published: 30/05/2002, Volume II2, No. 5807 Page 14

Negotiations on a new consultant contract, which will be piloted this year, could make round-the-clock working easier, according to Department of Health director of human resources Andrew Foster.'What we are trying to achieve is the ability to manage doctors in the way we manage the rest of the clinical team.

We want to extend the working day and the working week, 'he said.The cost of implementing Agenda for Change, the new NHS pay structure, would be 'enormous', he said, and the DoH wanted to see threeyear pay deals.Unison national secretary for health Paul Marks replied that NHS staff expect a decent pay rise to come out of Agenda for Change.But he warned there may be problems in meeting expectations.Mr Marks said there were no guarantees the new pay structures would ensure a better service, but they had to be implemented because the situation was 'completely iniquitous'.