Published: 27/05/2004, Volume II4, No. 5907 Page 23

HSJ finance columnist Noel Plumridge raises a number of relevant questions about the objectives of the current pay revolution ('Pay and dismay' page 31, 15 April).

As he did not go on to answer them, can I have a go?

Like all big projects, the stakes are high and the current pay reforms are probably the biggest change programme ever attempted by the NHS.

The prize for successful delivery will be a larger and more flexible workforce, which is better paid and more highly motivated to deliver our service objectives. Pay reform is a major stimulus to both role redesign and service redesign and we should expect to deliver both greater cost efficiency and service effectiveness.

Of course, the risks will have to be managed and the costs tightly controlled but there is no reason why we should not deliver significant financial and service benefit from this multibillion-pound investment.

The questions I would ask are not just about the overall cost, but also how ambitious the benefit realisation plan is for an organisation and how it plans to track its delivery?

David Moss Programme director NHS Pay Reform