NHS trust offers staff £600 to meet targets

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Every member of staff of an NHS trust is to be paid a £600 bonus if it successfully cuts waiting times and improves patient satisfaction or meets similar targets.

Under a scheme announced by the Department of Health yesterday the bonus will be offered to the 3,725 staff – from porters to consultants – of the Norfolk and Norwich NHS Trust. The trust, which runs three hospitals with a total of 1,000 beds, is among 10 selected to test the idea of using "team performance bonuses" to raise standards. The 10 trusts are already among the best performers and include three with three-star ratings in league tables published last month.

John Hutton, a Health minister, said the move was part of the Government's drive to link performance with rewards and to provide incentives for other hospitals to improve.

The Norfolk and Norwich is the only acute hospital trust where all staff will qualify for the bonus, worth £2.2m in total. The others, which will share £1.3m, include the stroke and heart disease teams atNorthumbria Healthcare Trust, the pathology and radiology services at South Devon Healthcare Trust and the Lincolnshire Ambulance Trust. The money will come from the NHS performance fund, worth £500m to 2004.

¿ The growth in the number of hospital consultants is not keeping pace with the NHS workload, according to a survey. On average, consultants work 21 hours a week more than his or her contracted hours, it says.

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