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Supporting diversity in the national clinical excellence awards

We have responded to the Department of Health and Social Care and Welsh Government consultation proposing to reform the national clinical excellence awards (NCEAs), saying we fully support making the process of nominating these awards more open and inclusive.

The NCEAs are available to consultant doctors and dentists aimed at recognising high quality service, delivery and management within the NHS in England and Wales. They are a time-limited reward payment available through an annual process, where consultants apply initially for support from their employer organisation. If successful individuals will then approach the appropriate representative bodies, such as the BDA for support for their application. BDA endorsement is provided based on people’s contributions to the Association.

The suggested reforms aim to:

  • Broaden access the scheme
  • Making the application process simpler, fairer, and more inclusive
  • Ensuring the scheme rewards and incentivises excellence across a broader range of work and behaviours.

There are currently 300 NCEA awards in England each year, with 15-18 in Wales. The consultation suggests the DHSC and WG would like to expand the number of awards to ensure more consultants receive them and increase the diversity of those receiving them. The reforms aim to better recognise those who are working less than full time (LTFT), and across a broader range of clinical, academic and leadership contributions, which we fully endorse.

Their data shows female, black, Asian and minority ethnic applicants are under-represented at all levels in the current awards. Feedback from their focus groups suggests LTFT workers find it more difficult to obtain career advice, mentorship, and employer support for being put forward for these awards.

For this year’s NCEA round of nominations, we worked closely with the BDA’s Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee, and we will continue to enable a more diverse range of candidates to apply.

The consultation aims to reform the scheme for the April 2022 process. We now await the DHSC and Welsh Government response to the consultation and will update members when this is published.

The next round of awards is likely to take place in early 2022.

More information about the awards and the reforms