Consultants in NHS scotland: a survey of work commitments, remuneration, job satisfaction and retirement plans

F. H. French, H. Coutts, Linda Leighton-Beck, Jill Ann Mollison, Gillian Needham, Anthony Scott, Kim Walker, J. E. Andrew, Morag Glendora Awramenko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background and Aims: UK consultants have reported working long hours, increased stress and reduced morale. This study set out to elicit consaltants' views on flexible working and to gather data on consultants' workloads, remuneration, job satisfaction and retirement plans. As such it is the first comprehensive study of consultants in NHSScotland. Methods: The Information Ad Statistics Division of the Scottish Executive Health Dept provided a list of consultants working in NHSScotland. Focus groups and interviews informed the design of a postal, self-completion, questionnaire. Results: The response rate was 61%. Almost two-thirds (65%) of respondents felt their workloads were unreasonable and unsustainable and 67%. were unable to provide their desired standards of patient care. Two-thirds (67%.) did not normally take meal breaks, 63% bad insufficient time for outside interests, whilst 44% felt their health was being adversely affected. Many (84%) believed that some of their work could be delegated to someone less qualified but 79% agreed that there were insufficient staff to make this possible. The average planned retirement age was 60 years, with 23% describing their plans as definite and 70% as quite or very likely. When asked what might induce them to postpone retirement, 50% cited reduced workload/work intensity. Conclusions: In 2003, a majority of consultants in the UK voted in favour of the new consultant contract. This will improve consultant pay and introduce a standard 40-hour working week, including worked on-call. This should address tow of the main Areas of consultant dissatisfaction in NHSScodand. However, staff shortages will require to be addressed if the contract is to be successfully implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-52
Number of pages5
JournalScottish Medical Journal
Volume49
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2004

Keywords

  • consultants
  • workload
  • job satisfaction
  • remuneration
  • gender
  • retirement plans
  • questionnaire survey
  • HOSPITAL CONSULTANTS
  • QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY
  • OCCUPATIONAL STRESS
  • FAMILY-LIFE
  • DOCTORS
  • CAREER

Cite this

French, F. H., Coutts, H., Leighton-Beck, L., Mollison, J. A., Needham, G., Scott, A., Walker, K., Andrew, J. E., & Awramenko, M. G. (2004). Consultants in NHS scotland: a survey of work commitments, remuneration, job satisfaction and retirement plans. Scottish Medical Journal, 49(2), 47-52.