HL Deb 01 May 1990 vol 518 c1030WA
Baroness Faithfull

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What progress has been made towards implementing the proposals of the House of Commons Select Committee on Social Service that prison doctors should be employed on the same basis as NHS doctors and should be given a reasonable on-call allowance in respect of extra hours worked.

Viscount Ullswater

The Government reply to the Committee's report (Third Report from the Social Services Committee Session 1985-86) explained that the recommendation that prison doctors be employed on the same contractual basis as NHS doctors had not been accepted, but that the general trust of the Committee's thinking—that the pay and conditions of employment of members of the Prison Medical Service should be commensurate with those of their counterparts in the NHS—would be the subject of consultation with other interested departments. It was decided subsequently that the legitimate aspirations of prison medical officers and other members of the Medical Civil Service could best be achieved by assimilating medical officer posts into the Civil Service unified grading structure; the introduction of a flexible pay system linked to that structure; and the preparation of grading guidance reflecting the variety of work undertaken by members of the MCS. The first two of these objectives have been achieved and good progress has been made towards the third.

These measures should enable the responsibilities of prison medical officers to be reflected in their pay. An "on call" allowance is not contemplated.