Published: 06/05/2004, Volume II4, No. 5904 Page 33

The National Primary and Care Trust Development Programme has developed a human resources toolkit aimed at helping with pressures faced by primary care trusts in attempting to create efficient HR functions.

NatPaCT claims that it will help PCTs to think critically about how they organise, measure and evaluate their HR services and benchmark it against other trusts.

The first section deals with forging effective relationships with an 'HR provider', and advises trusts to think about culture rather than structure in terms of ensuring 'fit'between the organisation and the provider's beliefs, values, priorities and goals.The authors argue that cultural values will have the greatest impact on organisational performance.

Section two deals with HR 'selfassessment', and attempts to provide a framework for 'considering and assessing the key elements of your HR service', focusing on Human Resource Champions author David Ulrich's 'four key roles that HR professionals need to be to add value to their organisations' (strategic partner, change agent, administrative expert and employee champion).

In self-assessment, the toolkit claims to help trusts discover which areas of the HR service give cause for concern, if skills or knowledge can be brought from areas of strength to meet development needs, and if the organisation and HR provider are clear about their responsibilities.