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Prizes for doctors who support nurse research criticised

  • 13 Comments

Government proposals to hand prizes to doctors who support nurse-led research have been slammed by a prominent nurse researcher.

The Department of Health has made the suggestion as part of a review into consultant doctors’ bonuses – known as clinical excellence awards.

The DH said the awards, which are worth £500m a year and are paid on top of consultants’ maximum £120,000 salaries, could be partly replaced with award ceremonies celebrating doctors’ achievements.

One measure for prizes, according to a study reference by the DH, should be whether a consultant has supported nurse-led research.

But Alison Metcalfe, associate dean at King’s College London Florence Nightingale School of Nursing & Midwifery, said: “This should be happening automatically. Nurses should be supported to lead research because it’s fundamental in improving patient care and experience.”

Despite this, support from medical colleagues was “highly variable”, she said.

Clinical excellence awards have proved controversial because the money is added to doctors’ salaries each year, subject to five yearly reviews. Many argue doctors retain the awards even when the standard of their work has dropped.

The National Quality Board and NHS Employers have suggested some of the money should be redistributed to other professionals, such as nurses.

Professor Metcalfe agreed that any money taken out of doctors’ bonus schemes “should be reinvested in supporting nurses”.

  • 13 Comments

Readers' comments (13)

  • you what? i thought all the professions were supposed to work together in the interest of patients not for the further lining the pockets of the few already on the highest salaries.

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  • Ah nice to see the government continuing to treat the nurses as medical Drs hand maidens. What does 'support' mean anyway- is that code for allow???? A total disgrace

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  • Oh for f***s sake!!

    Is anyone else sick and bloody tired of being patronised like this while the clique at the top line their pockets??

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  • Adrian Bolt

    What is wrong with a consultant lending his support to a piece of "nurse led research"? I see nothing wrong with this.

    The question of Consultant merit awards is a slightly different issue although it seems right that a "senior" Consultant who has contributed widely to his or her department, who has been published and is an expert in his or her field should be recognised for this.

    To use a military analogy if Consultants are the Generals then it would be logical to pay a five star general more than a one or two star General. This sounds to me like another piece of rather predictable "doctor bashing" from Alison Metcalf who sounds like someone who has a bit of a chip on their her about being "just a nurse".

    If my Consultant offered me his support for some research that I was doing, as I fully expect he would were I to be engaged on any, I would welcome that support as I would support from any other colleague. Not start carping on about it because I thought for some reason it was "patronising".

    Would it be patronising if a senior OT, physio or dare I say it Social worker were to offer me their support? Why is it only Doctors that we are not to accept any help from? I think Ms Metcalf is being petty and small minded.

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  • Eland, it seems you missed the point completely.

    "If my Consultant offered me his support for some research that I was doing, as I fully expect he would were I to be engaged on any, I would welcome that support as I would support from any other colleague. Not start carping on about it because I thought for some reason it was "patronising". "

    If that support was given on a professional basis in the support of best practice, I would agree. But it is not like that. Why would consultants need incentives to deign us lowly Nurses with their support? It should be happening as a norm, not because of 'prizes'.

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  • Eland En Whirl | 14-Jun-2011 5:38 pm

    I love your picture ... hidden agenda!!

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  • Is this the way nurses only get support to undergo research? I have to agree with Mike on this occasion.

    Anonymous | 15-Jun-2011 0:53 am

    I get it!

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  • Adrian Bolt

    @ Mike

    "If that support was given on a professional basis in the support of best practice, I would agree. But it is not like that."

    Do you have any evidence to support that statement?


    "Why would consultants need incentives to deign us lowly Nurses with their support?"

    Because they are genuinely interested in supporting best practice within the team whoever is responsible? You appear to have as big a chip on your shoulder as Ms Metcalf.


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  • Eland, you want evidence? You want proof? Look at the headline of the article for starters!!!!

    "One measure for prizes, according to a study reference by the DH, should be whether a consultant has supported nurse-led research."

    Hardly a chip on my shoulder, just the ability to see what is blatantly obvious.

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  • Adrian Bolt

    Giving prizes to Doctors for supporting their nursing colleagues is hardly evidence for your assertion that the support is not being offered on a professional basis in the interests of best practice.

    The only people this initiative is patronising to are the doctors themselves who were probably already offering their support on this basis in the first place

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