Intended for healthcare professionals


Discrimination in the discretionary points award scheme: comparison of white with non-white consultants and men with women

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 29 March 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:687
  1. Aneez Esmail, president (,
  2. Peter Abel, research assistantb,
  3. Sam Everington, vice presidenta
  1. a Medical Practitioners Union, MSF Centre, London EC1V 8HA
  2. b Rusholme Health Centre, School of Primary Care, University of Manchester, Manchester M14 5NP
  1. Correspondence to: A Esmail
  • Accepted 9 September 2002

The discretionary points award scheme is one of the main mechanisms for rewarding consultants beyond their basic salaries in England, Wales, and Scotland. Half of all consultants have received awards. Together, the discretionary points and distinction awards cost the NHS about £251m ($410m; €380m) each year. Each discretionary point is worth £2645, so a consultant with the maximum of eight discretionary points earns £87 280.

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Distribution of discretionary point awards by ethnic group and sex for consultants in England and Wales and Scotland

Department of Health guidance for awarding points instructs employers to ensure that consultants are treated equally regardless of colour, race, sex, religion, politics, marital status, sexual orientation, membership or non-membership of trade unions or associations, ethnic origin, age, or disability.1 We …

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