Normally, around this time of year, we start to think about our applications for the coming year’s Clinical Excellence Award round. But this year, the pay review body (DDRB) has brought some confusion to the process.
The Department of Health has asked the pay body, which is already reviewing the CEA scheme, to consider either cancelling the 2012 CEA round or running it only to renew existing awards. They say that the administrative burden is too great, although how this can be the case I don’t know – the administrative structures are in place and ready. And a letter was sent to specialist societies in May informing them of the request from the DH and placing further doubt on the situation.
With everything that’s going on, it’s not surprising to me that many consultants don’t know what to do; should we start to prepare applications, approach the national nominating bodies and specialist societies – is the round even going ahead?
But there is one important fact that we need to remember in all this. No decisions have been taken. These are simply proposals that the DDRB has been asked to consider as part of the review and they won’t make a decision on them until they report back in July. This isn’t to say that the government won’t take a unilateral decision on the 2012 round at some point in the future, but right now the round is going ahead and there are two very important reasons to apply.
If we don’t apply as normal, we undermine the CEA round ourselves.
We need to build momentum, demonstrate that there is support for the 2012 round, that we expect it to go ahead and that we value these awards. And, I believe that there is every possibility that following the report of the review the 2012 round will go ahead. And if it does, you should start preparing your application now.