THEY FORGOT TO ADD, WHO IS PAYING THIS
“THE BRITISH TAXPAYER”
Revealed: The £75,000 annual bonuses paid out to half of NHS consultants as Jeremy Hunt demands more reform days after forcing them to work weekends
- There are 43,475 consultants in the NHS, 22,349 received the bonus
- Salaries average £111,354 and scheme cost £420million annually
- Critics say as so many receive award is does little to incentivise doctors
4 reports below in pdf format (in public domain if you look hard enough)
More than a half of NHS consultants receive an annual bonus of up to £75,000 on top of their salaries, the Mail can reveal.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said yesterday the scheme needed to be reformed after it emerged that 51.4 per cent of consultants receive a ‘clinical excellence award’ intended to reward them for exceptional achievements.
But critics say the fact that so many receive the award means it does little to incentivise doctors and becomes, in effect, a permanent addition to their salaries, which average £111,354 a year. The scheme costs £420million annually.
The disclosure comes days after Mr Hunt pledged to rip up their contracts to force them to work weekends – to howls of protests from the British Medical Association. Analysis of the latest handouts reveal that of the 43,475 consultants in the NHS, 22,349 received the bonus.
4 reports below in excel format (in public domain if you look hard enough)
Of these, 153 got a ‘platinum’ award of £75,796 and a further 42 received an ‘A+’ award of £75,889. Some 242 received £58,305 in ‘gold’ awards, while another 75 enjoyed a £55,924 boost from an ‘A’ award. Thousands of others received bonuses of more than £20,000. Mr Hunt said yesterday: ‘Labour introduced these flawed awards alongside their disastrous 2003 contract, which we’re determined to change. Sadly, the BMA haven’t taken up our offer to reform them.
‘We want to ensure that rewards are given to doctors who are doing the best job for patients – and will be consulting on a new local performance scheme in the autumn.’
Once a doctor has received their first merit award, they will almost always receive it annually for the rest of their working life. Although performance is reviewed every five years, very few doctors ever have the award withdrawn. According to the NHS website, clinical excellence awards are designed to ‘recognise and reward NHS consultants and academic GPs who perform over and above the standard expected of their role’. But Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said they looked like a ‘back-door way of boosting salaries’.
‘There’s no problem with rewarding outstanding work, but these revelations cast doubt on how performance-orientated they really are,’ he said.
A spokesman for the BMA said the awards were given to doctors who ‘lead the delivery of high-quality patient care and demonstrate a commitment to the continuous improvement’ of the NHS. ‘The scheme is under regular review and the BMA has supported moves to improve transparency and fairness in the system,’ said the spokesman.