HC Deb 28 February 1955 vol 537 cc1699-700
20. Mr. Beresford Craddock

asked the Minister of Health on what basis the Distinction (Merit) Award is given to consultants in the National Health Service over and above their salaries; and why the identity of the doctors granted these awards from public funds is not published.

Mr. Iain Macleod

The committee set up to recommend awards is required by its terms of reference to base its recommendations on professional distinction. In my view, publication of names would not be in the best interests of the National Health Service.

Mr. Craddock

As the grants are paid from public funds, what possible objection is there to publishing the names of the recipients?

Mr. Macleod

The objection, surely, is that if it were known which consultants got class A, class B and class C awards, patients might think that, according to which consultant was looking after them, they were getting different forms of treatment. That would not be the case, because other factors than clinical ability are taken into account. That view, I think, has always been held by my predecessors, and I believe it to be right.

21. Mr. Beresford Craddock

asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that doctors of the highest distinction in the employ of the Medical Research Council are not eligible for Distinction (Merit) Awards in the same way as consultants in the National Health Service; and whether he will take steps to provide for such, or similar, grants to be made in order to remove this anomaly.

Mr. Iain Macleod

Subject to rules of which I am sending my hon. Friend a copy, doctors employed by the Medical Research Council are eligible for distinction awards if they hold honorary consultant appointments in the National Health Service. Apart from this, their remuneration is a matter for the Lord President.