Magazine article Public Finance

Doctors' £340M Contract 'Did Not Improve Services'

Magazine article Public Finance

Doctors' £340M Contract 'Did Not Improve Services'

Article excerpt

The new contract for senior hospital doctors has cost £90m more than expected and failed to deliver better services to patients, the King's Fund said this week.

In Its assessment of the consultants' contract, A something for something deal?, the charity found little evidence that it had improved their productivity. It blamed a number of factors - the Department of Health did not produce guidance, the deal was implemented too quickly and existing workloads were underestimated.

It said the government miscalculated the cost of the deal in 2003, which has ended up costing at least £340m in its first two years.

Starting salaries had risen by 36% since 2001, putting great strain on trusts' finances. The fund said national guidance should be published, while trusts should link consultants' job plans to Its strategic goals. …

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