Large rise in consultants’ pay has not improved productivity, say MPs

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 02 July 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f4267
  1. Adrian O’Dowd
  1. 1London

Large pay rises of between 24% and 28% for consultants 10 years ago had failed to lead to more productivity for the NHS and had not been value for money, MPs said.

The parliamentary public accounts committee published a report on 2 July on the management of consultants, in which it said that pay rises had not achieved what they should have and that management of consultants’ performance was poor.

Doctors’ leaders, however, have rejected many of the report’s claims, saying that the statistics used were inappropriate, did not reflect the quality of care, and unfairly criticised doctors for spending too much time with patients.

In October 2003 the Department of Health for England introduced a new consultant contract, which was designed to improve the management of NHS consultants. Most consultants are now on the contract, which increased their pay in 2003-04, with the bottom of the consultant pay band rising by 24% and the top by 28%.

MPs on the committee said the contract represented a “missed opportunity” to …

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