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Healthcare Professionals

Employment Guidance for Dermatologists


NHS Employers plays a leading role in modernising pay and conditions, having the responsibility to negotiate with the Medical Association on the contractual arrangements for consultant doctors and dentists.

As a result, negotiations are led by employers in the NHS which should ensure that those areas of greatest concern to the service, on contractual issues, are addressed and workable solutions put in place.

They also offer advice and information on consultant contractual and related issues, online and in response to specific enquiries. This section provides information on the following:

  • Those consultants first employed as an NHS consultant after 31 October 2003 should be employed on the Consultant Contract (2003). Consultants who were employed on the old contract but chose to move to this contract would also be under these arrangements. This section includes a Frequently Asked Questions document on the employment of consultants.
  • Those consultants who were first appointed to an NHS post before 31 October 2003 and who have not chosen to assimilate to the more recent arrangements would be employed on the pre-2003 contract.
  • Guidance documents are available to employers, with details on issues such as: On-call, Private Practice, Job Planning, Consultants working part time, Locum consultants, Study leave, Supporting Professional Activities, Clinical Excellence Awards Scheme, Consultant appraisals
  • The RCP document “Consultant Physicians Working with Patients 5th edition” contains the work programme/specimen job plan for a consultant dermatologist working in a district general hospital in section 9, along with other useful resources.
  • There are contractual and guidance documents relating to the employment of clinical academics.
  • Information on consultant appointments to NHS posts.
  • Advice and guidance on job planning for consultants.
  • Information on the appeals process for consultants if there is a disagreement related to job planning and pay progression.
  • There is also an archive setting out the implementation process for the 2003 contract.

Specialty and associate specialist doctors

New contracts for staff and associate specialist (SAS) doctors were introduced from 1 April 2008 and a new 'specialty doctor' grade introduced.

From 31 March 2008 the associate specialist (AS) grade closed to new entrants, and eligible doctors could apply for personal regrading.

The new contracts were introduced from 1 April 2008, making annual job planning and appraisal a core requirement for all specialty doctors and associate specialists. This aligns them with colleagues in the consultant grade, allows better team planningand continuing development for doctors in the specialty and associate specialist grades.

NHS Employers produced a briefing document, published in March 2008, which gives more detailed information. It is still relevantfor employers, providing a structured approach to the employment and professional development of specialty doctors.

Additional information can be found in the key documents and contract details sections.

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