Doctors' contracts warning6th February 2013
A watchdog has warned that the health service needs to improve how it manages its consultants in order to see the benefits of salary increases made in 2003.
The National Audit Office (NAO) said the increase in pay a decade ago - senior consultants' salaries rose by a maximum of 28% - was designed to boost productivity and performance.
The changes meant salaries for senior consultants increased from a maximum of £68,505 to £88,010 and consultants in lower pay grades saw an increase of a maximum of 24% from £52,640 to £65,035.
The average increase per consultant was 12% in the year following the introduction of the contract.
However the NAO said more consultants needed to have performance appraisals and improvements could still be made to achieve better value for money.
It found almost a fifth of consultants had not had a performance appraisal over the last 12 months.
The NAO's report looked at the impact of the contract brought in by the Labour government in 2003 and which was approved the following year.
Around 97% of the 40,000 consultants within the NHS are working under the terms of the contract.
NAO head Amyas Morse said: "Given the size of the pay increase given to consultants under the 2003 contract, it is reasonable to expect trusts to have made progress in improving how consultants are managed and realising the expected benefits of the contract."
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Title: Doctors' contracts warning
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 23689
Date Added: 6th Feb 2013