Medicopolitical Digest

Medicopolitical digest

BMJ 1994; 309 doi: (Published 09 July 1994) Cite this as: BMJ 1994;309:133
  1. Linda Beecham

    Medicopolitical Digest BMA warns about implications of PRP

    Leaders of senior hospital doctors and medical academic staff have warned their constituents that the government's “doctrinaire insistence” on performance related pay could lead to the imposition of changes to terms and conditions of service.

    In their letters the chairman of the Central Consultants and Specialists Committee, Mr John Chawner, and the chairman of the Medical Academic Staff Committee, Dr Colin Smith, attack the government's refusal to engage in “genuine discussion” about the consequences of local pay negotiations. They hope that the secretary of state for health will not use her power to impose the change against the wishes of the profession. The recent annual conferences of senior hospital staff and medical academic staff strongly rejected the concept (see 18 June, p 1642, p 1643).

    The secretary of state for health says that she affords “the highest priority to the early introduction of arrangements which will link a significant proportion of pay increases from 1995 to the performance of staff achieving improvements in local services.” And the NHS chief executive, Mr Alan Langlands, has now written to chief executives of NHS trusts asking them to prepare action plans by October 1994.

    The chairmen point out that performance related pay will give managers a tool to interfere with clinical priorities and that the scheme is inappropriate for professional staff whose prime motivation is service to patients. Local pay bargaining, they say, will be divisive, time consuming, and expensive and could lead doctors to examine the amount of work they do in excess of their contractual commitment.

    The BMA is asking doctors to write to their MPs and to the press on the issue and to consider briefing …

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