There have been a number of guidance documents produced which provide employers with useful information on the employment of consultant doctors and dentists in the NHS.
These include information on the following:
A practical guide to calculating on-call work
and a guide to determining on-call availability supplements both
published by the former Consultant Contract Implementation Team in 2004.
The Code of Conduct for Private Practice sets out recommended standards of best practice for NHS consultants in England about their conduct in relation to private practice. The standards are designed to apply equally to honorary contract holders in respect of their work for the NHS. The Code covers all private work, whether undertaken in non-NHS or NHS facilities.
In September 2009 the Cooperation and Competition Panel (CCP) published its report into restrictions placed on consultants in relation to the non-contracted hours that they can work for other providers of NHS funded healthcare services. The report is available from the CCP’s website.
Job Planning Standards
published in 2004, sets out standards of best practice and are designed to apply to medical and dental consultants employed by the NHS in England. Further guidance on job planning can be found in the Job Planning Toolkit
Part time consultants
The Department of Health, the Central Consultants and Specialists Committee of the BMA and the NHS Confederation intended that the implementation of the 2003 consultant contract should provide the necessary flexibility for those consultants who wish to work part-time. This Part Time Guidance
focuses on those aspects of the contract that relate specifically to part time working as well as highlighting other aspects of the agreement that will be of particular interest to part-time consultants.
This Locum Guidance
supplements the provisions on locum appointments set out in Schedule 22 of the Terms and Conditions of Service for NHS Consultants (2003).
Circular HC(79)10 - study leave
, issued by the Department of Health and Social Security in April 1979 records an agreement for consideration of applications for study leave.
Supporting professional activities
NHS Employers' Guidance on Supporting Professional Activities
suggests some parameters for assessing the time required to undertake supporting professional activities.
Clinical Excellence Awards Scheme
Information on the Clinical Excellence Awards Scheme for consultants can be found on the Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards (ACCEA) website. The BMA and NHS Employers produced a Joint Report on the operation of the first two years of the CEA Scheme on behalf of the Department of Health.
Annual appraisal for consultants
The Department of Health have produced two circulars relating to annual appraisals for consultants:
Background information on the Consultant Contract (2003)
In response to the concerns raised by member organisations, the NHS Confederation produced a confidential report for the then Health Minister, John Hutton on the lessons to be learned from the negotiation and implementation process. The Lessons from the Consultant Contract – A briefing for NHS trusts
summarises the key points made in this report.
Good practice guidance: NHS (appointments of consultants) regulations
provides good practice guidance on the NHS (Appointment of Consultants) regulations 1996 as amended and was produced by the DH in February 2005 and is for the use of NHS Trusts, Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities when making appointments to consultant posts. Foundation trusts can also follow this guidance if they so choose.
Arrangements for 'acting down' by consultants and SAS doctors
From time to time consultants and SAS doctors will be asked to act down to cover the absence or shortage of junior staff. Arrangements for doing so will be a matter for local discussion and agreement. Employers might found these examples useful in drawing up their own policy, although NHS Employers does not endorse any one approach.
Senior doctors can be asked to act down, however employers should take account of the doctor's other commitments and how these can be covered; and the requirement for, and arrangements for provision of compensatory rest. Employers should also take account of whether the doctor has the appropriate and up-to-date skills to cover this work.