Consultants’ contract and consultant workforce reform

The Department, Health and Social Care (HSC) employers and the British Medical Association (BMA) reached agreement on the proposed new contract for consultants within the HSC. Since this agreement the BMA balloted their Consultant and Specialist Registrar (SpR) membership over the proposed contract on offer with 83% voting in favour of the new contract.

Consultants’ contract

The Consultants’ Contract is designed to provide a much more effective system of planning and timetabling consultants’ duties and activities for HSC Trusts. For HSC Trust employers, this will mean the ability to manage consultants’ time in ways that best meet local service needs and priorities. For consultants’, it will mean greater transparency about the commitments expected of them by the HSC Trust and greater clarity over the support that they need from employers to make maximum effective contribution to improving patient services.

Ongoing meetings between the Department, HSC Trust employers and the BMA have resulted in agreement being reached on several documents with further work underway.

The Department remains committed to reform within the consultant workforce, and undertook work in the following areas:

  • training for clinical and medical managers
  • job planning review
  • HR Support for medical directorates

Reform of the consultant contract

On 31 July NHS Employers published draft heads of terms (HoT) for possible reform of the consultants' contract which have been jointly agreed by the BMA.

This sets out a framework for future detailed negotiations on amendments to the current consultant contract in England and Northern Ireland and to the Clinical Excellence Awards scheme.  

Both parties will now seek the necessary mandates to proceed to formal negotiations from the Departments of Health in England and Northern Ireland and from the BMA's Consultant Committee.

Further information is available on NHS Employers website.

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