Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Disciplinary Overhaul Set to Slash Costs

Magazine article Public Finance

NHS Disciplinary Overhaul Set to Slash Costs

Article excerpt

Health minister John Hutton has announced new measures to tackle the spiralling cost of disciplinary procedures and staff suspensions in the NHS.

The regime should help to slash the cost of disciplinary cases that have been delayed or prolonged, which add an extra £40m annually to the NHS bill.

NHS organisations have a target of 32 weeks for dealing with disciplinary cases but many become 'unnecessarily prolonged', according to the Department of Health.

Consultants who make formal appeals to the health secretary, for example, can endure cases that last 65 weeks and more. That right of appeal has been abolished under the new system, which should deal with consultants' cases before any need for departmental scrutiny.

Around 70% of the £40m cost of delays is spent on suspended doctors' salaries and legal fees. …

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