Performance-related pay and job evaluation

Andrew Foster and Alastair Henderson were right to question the impact of performance-related pay as a motivator in the NHS (News, page 3, 13 August).

I have been researching this subject for the past two years without finding any convincing evidence that PRP is a 'significant motivator and retainer of good staff', as suggested by Colin Pearson, president of the Association of Healthcare Human Resource Management. Indeed, there is scant evidence of PRP producing any performance-related benefits. As a result, the Medway trust abandoned PRP for senior managers more than two years ago.

However, my own research findings differ from Unison's over the number of managers wanting to be included in a national NHS pay system. My research revealed that less than 30 per cent of managers wanted their pay determined nationally. Managers are proportionally the biggest group in the NHS that has been affected by local contracts and pay determination. This has resulted in many managers being much more closely involved in influencing decisions on pay awards than under the previous national scheme.

Given health secretary Frank Dobson's edict on managers' pay this year, I would have thought that many of us would need a lot more convincing before willingly returning to national conditions.

Andy Bindon

Head of human resources

The Medway trust