The King's Fund, a health service think tank, makes no bones that the NHS needs to make 'significant savings' as it faces an era of ‘unprecedented austerity'.
The DoH must review Agenda for Change next year, says Windmill 2009 - NHS response to the financial storm.
Its authors, London's City University professors Sarah Harvey and Laurie McMahon, and Alasdair Liddell, the man behind NHS Direct, say any pay rises must be ‘more closely tied to commensurate increases in productivity'.
‘Providers need to find better ways to engage staff and to consider all options to improve workforce productivity,' the report insists.
The document points to Agenda for Change as a ‘centrally specified' policy that ‘drives up costs' and is an ‘obvious candidate for review'.
It singles out primary care as an area where commissioners can buy more for the NHS pound.
Lynn Young, RCN primary care adviser, said performance-related pay was unsuitable for nurses because they work in teams.