§ Mrs. Currie
The 1986–87 annual account of district health authorities within Nottinghamshire records consultants' pay as follows:
District Health Authority Medical (£000's) Dental (£000's) Nottingham 7,465 116 Central Nottinghamshire 1,974 0 Basset law 863 3
The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairmen of the health authorities concerned for information on 1987–88.
§ Mrs. Currie
The Department collects manpower information on consultants according to employing authority. Regional health authorities hold the contracts of consultants for non-teaching district health authorities (in this case Bassetlaw and Central Nottinghamshire). Central figures are available for the total number employed by regional health authorities but these are not broken down by district. Contracts for consultants in teaching districts are held by the district health authority concerned (in this case Nottingham) and are thus available centrally. The figures for Nottingham are given in the following table. The hon. Member may wish to contact the chairman of Trent regional health authority for more detailed information on the other two districts.
Consultants at 30 September 1986 in Nottingham (T) DHA Whole-time Part-time Medical Number 92 8.4 Whole-time equivalent 84.7 72.0 Dental Number 2 2 Whole-time equivalent 1.2 1.7
Note: Excludes honorary and locum staff.
§ Mr. Newton
A new consultants' contract was introduced in 1980 following negotiations between the Health Departments and the profession. The longstanding arrangement whereby consultants' contracts are held by regional health authorities (apart from those working in926W teaching districts) was examined prior to the 1982 restructuring and again in 1983 during the management inquiry but it was decided not to make any changes.
§ Mr. Wheeler
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what control regional and district managers have over the case of the time and resources used by hospital consultants; when the terms of contracts of consultants were last reveiwed; and under what circumstances the National Health Service authorities may dispense with the services of a consultant.
§ Mr. Newton
Health authorities are responsible for ensuring that consultants fulfil the terms of their contracts and that they organise services to patients in the most efficient and effective way. The present form of consultants' contract, which health authorities are expected to follow closely, was introduced in 1980 as a result of negotiations between the health departments and the profession. Like most other staff, consultants are appointed without term; they can be dismissed on the same grounds (eg. capability, conduct or redundancy) as other NHS staff. Where serious allegations of professional misconduct or professional incompetence are made against a consultant and the outcome might be dismissal, health authorities follow the procedures set out in circular MH(61)112 which makes provision for the establishment of an investigating panel with a legally qualified chairman.