Department of Health: Managing NHS Hospital Consultants
HC 358, Eleventh Report of Session 2013-14 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence
- House of Commons - Committee of Public Accounts
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
A new contract which increased consultants' pay by between 24% and 28% failed to halt a continuing decline in productivity in the Department of Health; the report 'Department of Health: Managing NHS Hospital Consultants (HC 358)' concludes that many of the improvements envisaged by the Department were only achieved because its objectives had no ambition.
The contract allows consultants to refuse to work during evenings and weekends. Some Trusts even pay up to £200 an hour for additional work which is done at weekends. Furthermore, 17% of consultants have not had an appraisal in the last year, and nearly half of Trusts do not assess whether consultants have met the objectives in their job plans.
Pay progression for consultants is linked to years in the job rather than how well they are performing; and Clinical Excellence Awards, costing £500 million a year and aimed at rewarding consultants whose performance is over and above what is normally expected, are held by 60% of consultants.
Despite the increased pay there is still a shortage of consultants in some parts of the country, in hospitals in deprived areas and in specialities such as geriatric medicine. This makes some Trusts reliant on locum consultants who provide less continuity of care for patients, as well as being more expensive for the NHS. The Department must consider measures to attract consultants to such areas and specialities without financially disadvantaging the organisations concerned.
The report recommends that a proper culture of performance management for consultants and other NHS staff must be implemented if incidents of poor performance are to be avoided.
|Format||Paperback||Published||02 Jul 2013|
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