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More consultants are to receive excellence awards, but value is to be slashed

BMJ 2022; 376 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.o252 (Published 28 January 2022) Cite this as: BMJ 2022;376:o252
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. London

More consultants who perform well will be eligible for bonus payments under a shake up of the National Clinical Excellence Awards, but the value of individual awards will be almost halved, the government has announced.

The government argued that the changes would make the awards more inclusive and accessible to “help level the playing field,” but the BMA warned that the changes “are not positive ones for consultants” and could prompt many of the country’s best consultants to leave the NHS.

The awards scheme has existed since the inception of the NHS in 1948 and has been running in its present iteration since 2004. The awards are paid to consultants and senior academic GPs in England and Wales who perform above the standard that is expected of their role and will be renamed National Clinical Impact Awards as part of the shake-up from April 2022.

In England the awards in are currently worth £36 192, £47 582, £59 477, or £77 320 a year for five years.1 In contrast, the new scheme will pay just three awards, worth at least £20 000, £30 000, or …

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