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Discretionary Points

Consultant Discretionary Points

What are Discretionary Points?

Who is eligible to apply for Discretionary Points?

How many points can be awarded?

How do I apply for Discretionary Points?

How will my application be considered?

Will I be able to appeal the outcome of my application?

Where can I find further Information regarding the Discretionary Points Process?

 What are Discretionary Points?

Discretionary Points are a financial award paid at the discretion of the employer to reward excellence. To warrant payment of a discretionary point, consultants will be expected to demonstrate an above average contribution in respect of service to patients, teaching, research and the management and development of the service.

The employer, in determining the award of discretionary points, will follow the guidance in NHS Circular PCS(DD)1995/6 and the SEHD Guidance of 12 January 2000 ‘Discretionary Points for Consultants’.

 Who is eligible to apply for Discretionary Points?

The application process is open to all Consultants who:-

  • Are employed on a substantive contract or Clinical Academic with an Honorary Contract and are on the new contract, and have reached pay point 5 of the salary scale by 1st April of the fiscal year

OR

  • are on the old consultant contract and have reached the maximum of the salary scale by 1st April of the fiscal year.

Please note:

  • Consultants who are in receipt of a Distinction Award or 8 Discretionary Points are not eligible for payment of Discretionary Points
  • Locum Consultants are not eligible for payment of Discretionary Points
  • Part-time consultants receiving an award will be paid pro-rata to the full value of the award
  • Clinical Academics receiving an award will be paid pro-rata according to the average time per week for which they engage in clinical or public health medicine as per NHS Circular PCS(DD)1995/6
  • Consultants who deliver services between two or more Board areas will be considered on their overall contribution.  It will be the responsibility of the ‘lead’ employer to implement the nomination process, to liaise with the other employers and to consider applications from these medical staff

How many points can be awarded?

Employers have discretion on the number of points to be granted in any individual case in any particular year, and on the total number of points to be granted in any year subject to the minimum requirement of 0.35 points per eligible Consultant.

Notwithstanding this principle only in exceptional circumstances will more than two discretionary points be awarded to an individual in any single year.

 How do I apply for Discretionary Points?

All eligible consultants will be written to at their home addresses and invited to submit an application.  It is the responsibility of the Consultant to ensure the Payroll department hold their current address.

Applicants will be given four weeks from the date of the invite letter to return their completed application. Applications will not be accepted if they are late and/or not completed in accordance with the guidance specification.

To apply you will need to read and follow the Guidance Note on Completion of Application and complete and return the Application FormDeclaration Form and Equal Opportunities Monitoring Form by the closing date shown on your invite letter.

Please note this is a ‘fillable form’ which is fixed in length. The form cannot be expanded in length and each box is set in size.  The font size has also been set to the required format, Arial Narrow 11. Please do not alter the font size otherwise your application will be disqualified.

Please submit completed application forms by email to: [email protected]

Consultants should not apply for discretionary points in the year following the receipt of an award apart from in exceptional circumstances. If you believe there are exceptional circumstances you will also need to complete Appendix 5.

How will my application be considered?

All applications are anonymised and scored independently by members of the Sector/Directorate Discretionary Points Committee comprised of the following individuals:-

  • Sector/Directorate Director
  • Chief of Medicine
  • Clinical Director
  • Service General Manager
  • Non-Eligible Consultants nominated by MSA
  • Head of People & Change (Non-Scoring)
  • Local Negotiating Committee Observer (Non-Scoring)

The committee composition has equal numbers of management to MSA Representatives

  • The scores are discussed at a meeting of the Discretionary Points Committee and the award of points is discussed and agreed
  • The deliberations of the Discretionary Points Committee is confidential (subject to the terms of the Appeals Process)
  • All applicants are informed of the outcome of their application by letter to their home address. If the application is successful the payment of award will be made in the August salary
  • A list of those individuals who have been awarded points in the current year are posted on HR Connect

Will I be able to appeal for the outcome of my application?

Consultants may wish to discuss their application with the relevant Chief of Medicine before deciding on whether to proceed with a formal appeal

In the event that a consultant believes that the process of awarding discretionary points has been unfair i.e. they believe they have been disadvantaged by the assessment, there is the right of appeal.  The purpose of the appeal hearing is for an independent panel to review the consultant’s original application and the scores awarded by the Discretionary Points Committee, to assess whether the process of awarding points has been carried out fairly.  It is not an opportunity for the consultant to present new information.

Appeals must be made in writing to the Head of People & Change within one month of the candidate receiving notification that they will not be receiving an award. The grounds of appeal must be clearly stated by the applicant in their letter of appeal.

On receipt of an appeal the Medical Staffing Unit will arrange an appeal hearing, within two calendar months of the completion of all the Discretionary Points Committee’ meetings. The appeals panel comprises of the following individuals:-

  • Board Medical Director
  • Deputy Director of Human Resources & Organisational Development
  • Two individuals nominated by the Local Negotiating Committee

Following the appeal, the appellant will be informed in writing within three working days of the decision.

The decision of the Appeals Panel will be final.

What is the Internal Audit Process?

At the end of each Discretionary Points round, a random selection of anonymised applications will be subject to internal audit to verify accuracy, on an annual basis.

Where can I find further Information regarding the Discretionary Points Process?