DoH to review consultant bonuses of up to £76,000

Bonus payments for consultants of up to £76,000 a year are to be the subject of a UK-wide review to be carried out by the Doctors' and Dentists' Review Body.

Mr Lansley: more transparent and sustainable awards system
Mr Lansley: more transparent and sustainable awards system

The clinical excellence and distinction awards were introduced in 1948 and remain largely unchanged.

The awards are given for a range of achievements, from research and innovation through to an outstanding commitment to quality of care and leadership. The NHS paid £202.2m for such awards in 2009/10.

The review, commissioned by the four UK health departments, will work closely with organisations including the BMA.

Andrew Lansley, England’s health secretary, said: ‘A more transparent and sustainable awards system will allow the NHS to focus its resources to benefit patients and drive up standards to give us a health service that delivers outcomes among the best in the world.’

Bill McMillan, head of medical pay and workforce for NHS Employers, commented: ‘We welcome the announcement, which reflects the view of NHS organisations that a review is needed into the system of rewarding clinical excellence.’

Dr Mark Porter, chairman of the BMA’s consultants committee, said: ‘The BMA will engage with this review, which provides an opportunity to highlight the value of award schemes to patient care.’

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