Consultant Contract in Wales: Progress with Securing the Intended Benefits

The first consultant contract was introduced in the UK in 1948 and essentially remained unchanged until new contract negotiations started in 2000.  Following various negotiations a Welsh contract became binding on all consultants in Wales on 1 December 2003.       

The Auditor General for Wales report Consultant Contract in Wales: Progress with Securing the Intended Benefits was published in February 2013. The report found that consultant recruitment and retention have improved since the amended contract was introduced in 2003, with the number of full-time consultants increasing by 37 per cent between 2004 and 2011. However, the report also found that:

  • some consultants are still working excessively long hours, with one in six are working at least 46.5 hours and often exceeding the 48-hour European Working Time Directive limit;  and
  • the amended contract has not driven service modernisation in the way originally envisaged.

The report also highlighted that less than half the consultants who responded to a survey felt that the amended contract and job planning had led to better clinical practice, and even fewer of them thought it had improved patient care and consultants’ working methods.

The Public Accounts Committee undertook a short inquiry into issues raised by the Auditor General for Wales report.

 

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: Complete

First published: 01/08/2013

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