Hospital Dr News

Consultant contract: government to scrap Clinical Excellence Awards and remove those held locally

The government wants to scrap Clinical Excellence Awards locally and remove all those held by consultants, as part of the proposed new contract which is being negotiated with the BMA.

Keith Brent, the BMA’s lead negotiator on the consultant contract, said the government wants to replace CEAs with a new scheme which would offer three types of award: individual, team and organisational.

The award scheme would be run by trusts with the involvement of LNCs, and all consultants would be automatically be enrolled in the scheme.

Awards would be made on the basis of consultants exceeding the objectives in their job plans.

Existing local CEAs however would be removed from their ‘owners’. A consultant with eight local CEAs would lose £29,570 per annum, for example.

Brent said: “We are currently discussing levels of pay protection for consultants affected by the removal of awards, and will advise members on the potential pensions impact of any changes to the scheme when details become clearer.”

He added that the BMA wants to ensure that all CEA money is re-invested in consultant remuneration. “To date the Government appear willing to do this as part of an overall package,” he said.

Scrap Clinical Excellence Awards

The proposed contract that ensues will affect all consultants as well as new starters. The BMA is expecting to have proposals to put to your vote in early 2016.

The government has significantly reduced the funding available for CEAs in recent years, with many trusts no longer running the scheme.

Other controversial areas of the negotiations include salary structure and duration of ‘unsocial hours’, with the government intent on implementing a ‘seven day service’.

At the moment, any consultant who works between 7pm and 7am and all day Saturday and Sunday is paid a slightly increased rate of pay for that work.

The government wants to redefine unsocial hours and set out rates of pay.

Proposals include a consultant being paid at an increased rate based on the number of hours of work undertaken in unsocial hours; or, a banding system being implemented in which a multiplier based on the proportion of unsocial hours and the intensity of work carried out is applied to an individual’s basic salary.

It is the BMA’s understanding that the Government and NHS Employers would like to extend the period which is classed as plain time.

Other issues include a new, flatter pay scale for consultants, with a lower starting salary and lower top point of scale, but with a potentially more rapid progression up the scales. Progression would be based on performance rather than time.

Clinical excellence awards for consultants:

Level 1 £2,957

Level 2 £5,914

Level 3 £8,871

Level 4 £11,828

Level 5 £14,785

Level 6 £17,742

Level 7 £23,656

Level 8 £29,570

See pay scales.

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