HCSA rejects agreement on new LCEA scheme

HCSA - the hospital doctors’ union has rejected a new framework agreement on Local Clinical Excellence Award reform.

Negotiations on a new scheme have now ended without agreement with HCSA’s Executive voting unanimously that it could not support the plans.

Among key HCSA issues were:

  • the creation of a postcode lottery where different local schemes would start in different years for different values
  • freedom for employers to set award values at whatever level they choose locally
  • the banning of multi-year awards
  • the failure to adequately address equalities concerns
  • the prospect of employers being able to channel “left over” LCEA funds away from pay
  • an illogical structure of caps and ceilings on payments which ensured many employers would end up with “left over” funds.

“HCSA, which has always sought to defend the professional status of hospital doctors, could not in good faith put its name to this deal,” the HCSA Executive said in a statement.

"In recent months it has become clear that any attempt at a future nationally standardised scheme will be fatally undermined by conditions imposed by NHS England/Improvement on funding.

"These mean that individual employers with a large number of old-style LCEA-holders in their workforce will have far less left over to invest in the new scheme. The available funding for new awards per Consultant will vary between employers from a few hundred pounds to many thousands." 

HCSA's Executive added it could not "endorse a new scheme we believe would fail Consultants but could be stamped ‘with union approval’.

“The current trajectory of LCEA reforms is in our view a disaster in the making. It represents yet another nail in the coffin of medicine as a profession.

"HCSA remains open to talks on a fair and viable LCEA replacement which truly rewards excellence by Consultants and does the best for patients and our NHS."