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Scottish Royal Colleges’ Statement on Distinction Awards in Scotland

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22 May 2014

“The Health Workforce and Performance Directorate recently informed all NHS Boards in Scotland that Distinction Awards will continue to be frozen, with no increase in the value of awards, no new awards and no progression through the award scheme during 2014-15. This decision is out of step with the rest of the UK. Such awards remain in place in England and Wales and have recently been reinstated in Northern Ireland.

“The Scottish Royal Colleges are concerned about the potential impact on recruitment and retention of a high quality medical workforce. At a time when the medical workforce is striving to achieve excellence under increasing pressure and with less time available for supporting programmed activities, this decision does little to attract, promote or retain the highest achievers within the medical profession. This applies particularly to doctors currently working elsewhere in the UK or overseas and is particularly disappointing given the other attractions of working in the Scottish NHS.

“The Colleges believe that Scotland will be best served by a system that recognises merit and aspires to a world class healthcare system. Anything less places Scotland at an unwelcome disadvantage”.


Prof Derek Bell, President, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Dr Frank Dunn, President, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Mr Ian Ritchie, President, Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh


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