News Roundup [abridged Versions Appear In The Paper Journal]

MPs criticise waste of public money on suspensions

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7476.1204 (Published 18 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1204
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    The House of Commons Public Accounts Committee has attacked the NHS for allowing too many doctors and other clinical staff to be suspended for as long as two years on full pay while disciplinary proceedings occur.

    Between April 2001 and July 2002, 1063 clinical staff were excluded in England, 208 of them doctors, says the report, echoing statistics published last year by the National Audit Office (BMJ 2003;327:1065).

    “Astonishingly, there were 30 cases where exclusions lasted over two years,” said Edward Leigh, MP and chairman of the committee, in his report published last Tuesday.

    “The annual cost to the NHS, at £40m [$74m; €57m], is much too high. And very long cases can be …

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