LCEA 2020-21: Awards to be distributed equally due to Covid-19

HCSA, NHS Employers and the BMA have agreed to halt the normal 2020-21 Local Clinical Excellence Awards round in England due to the current exceptional circumstances presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

HCSA took part in talks on the best way to distribute the award component of the standard Consultants’ remuneration package. It was agreed that it should be divided equally between all those eligible as a one-off, non-consolidated payment.

A joint statement has been agreed by the parties which sets out the core agreement.

While agreeing in principle to the main thrust of the proposal, the national agreement does not encompass all the issues.

HCSA’s national officers will be on hand to assist members who may feel that the distribution of LCEA funding is being unfairly executed within their Trust.


Questions on the LCEA replacement

Who will benefit?
All Consultants who would ordinarily be eligible to apply for an LCEA will benefit from the exceptional scheme for 2020-21.

Where is the money coming from?
The money is being drawn from the LCEA pot for 2020-21, plus any remaining funds from the previous two year’s rounds.

Who will take the final decision over implementation?
Although the national agreement defines the spirit and the core components of the scheme, the precise implementation will vary from Trust to Trust.

I am in my first year as a Consultant, will I qualify for a payment under the new agreement?
No, unfortunately not. The eligibility criteria remain the same as for the standard LCEA scheme.

What does this mean for less-than-full-time doctors?
This exceptional year is an opportunity to extend the scope of LCEA payments to LTFT staff who are no less a part of the medical workforce.

The Gender Pay Gap Review has highlighted CEAs as one of the key driving factors in pay disparity, partly because less-than-full-time staff are only given a pro-rated award despite often having to work harder to achieve one.

LTFT doctors are not explicitly mentioned in the agreed statement, but HCSA's position is that payments should be distributed equally between all those eligible.

Employers shall be advised that they are able to make local arrangements for equal payments to ALL staff qualifying for LCEAs, whether full-time or part-time.

This is the approach HCSA shall be promoting at local level, and we urge HCSA members within LNC structures to progress this call.