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NHS budget squeeze doesn't stop pay awards

14th June 2010

The Daily Mail reports that doctors are earning bonus payments "of up to £76,000" in addition to their regular salaries.

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The newspaper said that 60% of hospital consultants were awarded the bonuses in 2009, which cost the NHS £202 million.

The bonus awards were part of a contract brought in by health secretary John Reid in 2003.

In 2009, nearly 300 consultants were awarded the top tier platinum award of £76,000. 660 were given gold awards of £56,000.

From a total of 35,000 consultants, 21,000 were given bonus payments ranging from £2,957 upwards.

The average salary for a consultant is £110,000 and they are able to perform private work in addition to their NHS duties.

Consultants are given the pay awards for research or excellent patient care.

Ian McKee, a former GP and campaigner against the bonuses, said: "It's demeaning to say that a professional person needs stonking great shedloads of cash on top of their six-figure salaries to pull their finger out for the Health Service – I thought that would be part of their professionalism."

A spokesman for the Department of Health said: "The system aims to reward clinical excellence and strong leadership by ensuring those within the NHS get fair remuneration, compared to their private counterparts."

"In order to retain its most skilled consultants, the awards ultimately strive to provide recognition for excellent patient care."

 

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