Consultants should be checked up on, says commission

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 18 March 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:687

Consultants in Britain should be monitored for their attendance at outpatient clinics and operating theatres, said the Audit Commission this week. It said the though most consultants “need have nothing to fear from such monitoring,” the data could be used in disciplinary procedures.

The commission surveyed 11 hospitals and sent questionnaires on working practices to 1100 doctors, of whom 655 responded. Its report finds that private work is done at the expense of NHS commitments: the quarter of doctors who do most private practice carry out less NHS work than their colleagues.

“If anything the results are likely to be an underestimate of the trade off between NHS and private work,” warns the report. “For those so inclined, …

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