Talk Health and Care

Equality for Public Health

The Clinical Excellence Awards are available for NHS Consultants and Academic GPs, including Consultants in Public Health Medicine who are employed in a Local Authority, but not for Public Health Consultants who have entered the speciality training via a non-medical route.  Why is this?  We do the same speciality training, we have the same certificate of completion of training.  We have the same job descriptions.  We will be subject to revalidation.  We are on a specialist register (UKPHR), we are eligible to be fellows of the faculty of public health, we teach, do research, undertake evidence-based practice,  quality improvement and are leaders.  

As an aside, Public Health is also being overlooked by this platform.  We work with NHS and Social Care partners but we are neither.  So selecting which theme this post relates to wasn't easy.  Also when setting up my profile I couldn't select Doctor as I am not a medical doctor (I have a PhD but not a medical degree) but I am a Consultant in Public Health.

What would you like to happen to make you feel more included and valued at work?

I would like all Consultants in Public Health - medical and non-medical to be treated equitably and have access to the same opportunities for recognition.  I would like to be able to apply for a clinical excellence award as a non-medical consultant in public health registered on the UKPHR.  I would like the Department for Health and Social Care to recognise that Public Health in a local authority also seeks to improve NHS patient care and social care in addition to our 'non-patient' population health improvement activities.

Adam DHSC 9 months ago

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for your comments. CEAs recognise and reward consultant doctors and dentists and academic General Practitioners who provide clear evidence of clinical excellence, demonstrating achievements that are significantly over and above what they would normally be expected to deliver in their roles. These achievements are in the areas of: developing and delivering high quality services, leadership, research, innovation, and teaching and training.

CEAs have been running since the inception of the NHS in 1948, when they were known as Distinction Awards. They are a part of the total remuneration package for consultant doctors and dentists and are closely linked to the (medical and dental) consultant contract and so eligibility is linked to registration with the General Medical Council or General Dental Council. Colleagues in the Department have previously mooted the introduction of performance pay for staff on Agenda for Change contracts to recognise and reward high-performers, with money diverted from elsewhere in the total pay budget, but would need union support for this.

We recognise the valuable work that is carried out by all staff groups, whether doctors, dentists or public health professionals, whether clinical or clerical.


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Elizabeth Orton 9 months ago

Thank you Adam for your quick response.

I am aware of what the CEAs seek to reward. My question is why a Consultant in Public Health, entering the specialty via the non-medical route is not recognised as achieving in the areas of: developing and delivering high quality services, leadership, research, innovation, and teaching and training, in the same way as someone entering from a medical route is? This is exactly what I have to demonstrate in my annual professional appraisal, reflective CPD and to be revalidated next year.

Since the introduction of CEAs in 1948, Public Health training has moved on, recognising the multidisciplinary nature of the role, and it may be time to review the awards to be consistent with this.

I think the unions would be interested in this. Please see guidance from the BMA regarding equal remuneration for non-medical consultants. How do we take this forward?

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Adam DHSC 9 months ago

Thank you for your post. CEAs are currently not open to non-medical public health consultants, however, it is likely that the scheme will be reviewed in the near future and that there will be some form of consultation ahead of any changes. We will ensure your feedback is passed on to the team responsible for NHS pay policy and taken into account when considering changes to the CEA scheme.


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