HC Deb 04 December 1991 vol 200 cc136-7W
Mr. Gwylim Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what is the average income of consultants with the health service in Wales, at the latest available date and for each of the last five years.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett

The average income of consultants with the health service in Wales, exclusive of any income which they may derive from private practice, was as follows:

1986–87 38,695
1987–88 41,729
1988–89 44,723
1989–90 46,962
1990–911 50,945
1 Provisional.

Source: Health Authority Annual Accounts

Annual Medical and Dental Census.

Note: Includes Consultant Distinction Awards and Locums.

Mr. Gwylim Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how merit awards for consultants with the health service in Wales are determined.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett

In October 1990, the Department, together with the Department of Health, produced a leaflet explaining how the NHS distinction and meritorious service awards scheme works. The scheme was established in 1948 following a recommendation that specialists should be able to feel that more than ordinary ability would be rewarded giving them the opportunity to earn incomes comparable with the highest that could be earned in other professions.

Distinction awards are made on the recommendation of the Advisory Committee on Distinction Awards. The committee approaches its regional network of committees, the royal college and faculties, the Public Health Laboratory Service, the Medical Research Council and regional specialist advisers for nominations. The chairman of the committee then visits each regional committee between May and September to discuss their recommendations and all the nominations received from other sources in order to draw up a provisional list for the consideration and final decision of the advisory committee.

There are four levels of awards: C, B, A and A +. There is a regional C awards committee in each region which is responsible for drawing up nominations for C awards and in Wales this is chaired by the director of NHS Wales.

The system has been modified over the years and while there are no formal criteria for awards the committee looks for certain qualities including clinical excellence, research, improvement to the service and teaching and training when drawing its conclusions.

I have placed a copy of the explanatory leaflet in the Library of the House for my hon. Friend's attention.