Published: 22/08/2002, Volume II2, No. 5819 Page 5

Nearly 70 trusts have applied to be early implementers of the new NHS-wide pay system being negotiated under the Agenda for Change talks.

HSJ understands that 68 NHS bodies have applied - including 10 primary care trusts and 10 ambulance trusts.

It is anticipated that about 15 trusts will make it to the final cut after a selection process, due to start next week, and will go through 'a number of stages lasting several weeks'.

A Department of Health spokesperson said the applications 'reflected the wide variety of organisational types in the NHS'.

The system is intended to provide a fairer national pay system, based on nine broad pay bands - closely linked to skills - to allow new ways of working.

The selected NHS bodies would then become 'shadow' early implementers, pending the outcome of consultation on the Agenda for Change package.