Editorials

New approach to the consultant contract

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7285.502 (Published 03 March 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:502

This offers a clearer relation between workload and reward

  1. John Riordan, medical director
  1. North West London Hospitals Trust, Northwick Park Hospital, Watford Road, Harrow HA1 3UJ

    See also News p 507 Education and debate p 541

    Whatever the merits of Britain's consultant contract when it was first agreed in 1948, there can be few now who do not agree that it needs substantial and perhaps radical revision. The average consultant coping with increasing clinical demands and the medical and general managers trying to ensure productive use of scarce expertise are well aware of its deficiencies. Lack of flexibility, poor relation between reward and effort and outcome, and lack of recognition of extra responsibilities resulting from more intensive training of junior doctors and the introduction of clinical governance are some of the issues that need to be tackled by a new contract. The government has now set out its proposals, promised in the NHS Plan,1 for a new approach to the consultant contract2 and to rewarding commitment and excellence in the NHS.3

    Many of the government's proposals in its paper on contracts …

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