New contract has meant higher pay but not better care, say doctors

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 26 April 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:865
  1. Lisa Hitchen
  1. London

    Only 12% of consultants in England believe that patient care has improved under the new consultants' contract, a critical report by the National Audit Office (NAO) says.

    The contract was implemented in 2003 and was supposed to provide better services for patients; increase productivity through improved management of consultants' work; and reward consultants for their NHS work through higher pay. It is based on an agreed “job plan” made up of 10 programmed activities of four hours each. The contract is the first update since the NHS was formed in 1948.

    But a survey from the NAO of 2361 consultants compared time spent before and after implementation on patient care and showed no increase in time spent on direct care.

    It …

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