DoH criticised on consultant pay

The DoH increased consultant pay by a quarter without securing any extra productivity in contract negotiations, according to the Public Accounts Committee.

Its report published today examined negotiations, cost implications, effectiveness and the extent to which benefits for patients had been realised.

It found that pay increased by 27 per cent from £86,746 to £109,974, working hours had decreased and there were no productivity gains.

Edward Leigh, chairman of the committee, said: ‘Consultants must now justify their big jump in pay; by giving more support to the redesign of services, and by changing their working culture.’

Dr Jonathan Fielden, chairman of the BMA’s consultants’ committee, said: ‘Under the old contract, consultants worked well above what they were paid to do and the government accepted this needed to change.

‘The 2003 contract recognises how hard consultants are working and allows their pay to be linked to the care they deliver to NHS patients.

‘Despite this, many consultants continue to put in the extra hours, unpaid, to ensure that patients get the quality of service they require.

The relentless criticism of consultants and their pay is unreasonable and uncalled for when the vast majority are going the extra mile to ensure patients get the best possible care – our consultants are worth every penny.’

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