Local clinical excellence award arrangements from 1 April 2018

Doctors in conversation

NHS Employers and the British Medical Association (BMA) have agreed an amendment to the Terms and Conditions – Consultants (England) 2003. From 1 April 2018, trusts must run annual local clinical excellence award (LCEA) rounds.

2020 round

The 2020/21 LCEA round has been halted as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the award money due to be distributed equally among eligible consultants. This will enable clinicians and managers to focus on immediate priorities.

The existing funding (including any money rolled over from the last two years or from award rounds that may not yet have been run or completed) will be redistributed equally among eligible consultants as a one‐off, non‐consolidated payment in place of normal LCEA rounds.

Read the joint statement from NHS Employers, the British Medical Association (BMA) and HCSA.

The investment ratio for the 2020 round of local clinical excellence awards (LCEA) has been confirmed. The approval by NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSEI) and the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) is welcome as it will enable employers to calculate the size of their funding pot for this year for distribution amongst eligible consultants. 

The investment ratio for the 2020 round has been set at 0.424.

Given the cumulative nature of the award funding, the investment ratio has built up over the last three years to 1.024. 


Award round  Investment ratio 
2018 0.3 
2019 0.3 
2020 0.424 
Total 1.024 

To calculate the value of the investment pot for 2020 employers need to:


  • calculate the number of eligible consultants as at 1 April 2020
  • multiply the number of eligible consultants (headcount) by 0.424 (the investment ratio).
  • multiply that figure by the unit value of an award (£3,092, as set out in the latest Pay and Conditions circular, published by NHS Employers)
  • add the ‘Investment in new CEA in 2018 at 0.3 per head’ and the ‘Investment in LCEAs in 2019 at 0.3 per head’
  • deduct the cost of any time limited awards that remain in payment from the 2018 and 2019 award rounds (on costs should be excluded)
  • add any underspend carried over from previous award rounds.


2019 round

The investment ratio for employers to use for the 2019 LCEAs round was set at 0.3 points per eligible consultant.

In 2018/19, in their response to the 46th Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB) report, the government committed to target 0.5 per cent of pay bill to enhance the level of investment in LCEAs from 2019/20.
This additional investment has been used to enhance the 2020 LCEA investment ratio.
We understand that due to the delay in the announcement of the 2019 ratio, some employers may have applied a different investment ratio for the 2019 round. If this is the case it will be necessary for employers to adjust the 2020 LCEA round commitment accordingly.  If any employers have questions about this specific issue, please get in touch via doctorsanddentists@nhsemployers.org

Jointly-agreed documents

The detail is set out in the Schedule 30 of the terms and conditions, and is applicable to consultants directly employed on the Terms and Conditions – Consultants (England) 2003. The updated version of the terms and conditions is on the Terms and Conditions of Service - consultants web page.

The agreement details how existing LCEAs will be maintained, the provisions that will apply to new LCEAs awarded from 1 April 2018 and future awards from 1 April 2021, and interactions with the national clinical excellence awards scheme.

Both parties believe that this agreement provides stability and clarity for consultants and employers on the availability of awards for quality and excellence, acknowledging exceptional personal contributions. It also sets a positive context for further negotiations around a new consultant contract, which will be resumed in due course.

NHS Employers and the BMA issued a joint statement and joint frequently asked questions. The parties have also published Local clinical excellence awards guidance 2018-21 (England).

Employer documents

NHS Employers has published a list of employer frequently asked questions and a summary of the arrangements.

We will republish the slide pack and the reporting templates to reflect the 2020 investment ratio.  

We have also published a guide to help employers develop their LCEA process. View Developing your local clinical excellence awards process

In December 2018 we held two webinars to walk employers through new and updated LCEA resources. Listen to the webinar recording and view the slides.

Department of Health and Social Care documents

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has published an Equality Analysis of the CEA scheme, which considers the effect of the collective agreement on different groups protected from discrimination by the Equality Act. 

Implications of the government's response to the DDRB report on LCEAs

The government published its response to the 46th Doctors’ and Dentists’ Review Body (DDRB) report. For consultants, the government has committed to a 1.5 per cent increase to basic pay from 1 October 2018, with 0.5 per cent of pay bill to be targeted on the new system of performance pay to increase the amount available for performance pay awards from 2019/20. The government also confirmed that there would be no increases applied to the value of either national or local clinical excellence awards.

The 1.5 per cent increase to basic pay from October equates to 0.75 per cent of the annual consultant pay bill. This leaves 0.25 per cent of the 1 per cent consultant pay bill uplift already included in the 2018/19 tariff (the tariff assumed a pay award in line with public sector pay policy of 1 per cent in 2018/19; see para 235 of 2017/18 2018/19 National Tariff Payment System) and the government has stated that employers will be able to choose to use this:

  • as transitional funding to manage the costs of running the required 2018 CEA award round 
  • to increase the value of the investment pot for the 2018 CEA award round.

Employers are advised that they should review their plans for running 2018 award rounds and make a decision on how to best use this discretion.

The 0.5 per cent of pay bill to be targeted on the new system of performance pay to increase the amount available for performance pay awards from 2019/20 means that the investment in new CEA awards (as per the calculation set out in Schedule 30 of the terms and conditions of service) will be almost doubled.

Until the end of March 2019, the minimum investment ratio for new LCEAs awarded from April 2018 will be set at 0.3 points per eligible consultant annually. The minimum investment ratios for the 2019 and 2020 award rounds will be confirmed in a future pay circular. 

We will update the relevant documents on this page to reflect the increased investment ratios as they are confirmed. 

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