There may be political advantage in criticising the salary scale for NHS consultants and the Clinical Excellence and Distinction Award Schemes. But criticism alone is unlikely to achieve anything useful.

At the request of the four UK Health Departments, the Review Body on Doctors’ and Dentists’ Remuneration (DDRB) is carrying out an independent review looking at compensation levels and incentive systems and the various Clinical Excellence and Distinction Award Schemes for NHS consultants at both national and local level in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The DDRB has been asked to submit recommendations to UK Ministers by July 2011. Written responses and evidence for this review have been invited and may be submitted, preferably electronically, by Friday 26 November 2010 to

These awards were originally negotiated and introduced to retain our consultants when the USA and Canada were offering far higher salaries as they were not training enough specialists.

It is difficult to see any advantage to patient or taxpayer by paying our most talented health specialists far less than any other western country. Critics might achieve more by submitting reasoned evidence than by mudslinging.