Friday 12 June 2020
I hope you have had a good week as we provide an update on our activities. As you will most likely have seen, Professor Kevin Davies has now been formally announced as our new Medical Director, starting on 1st July. I very much look forward to working with Kevin as we develop our COVID exit strategy and next steps on national CEA reform and its consultation. I am sure you join me in congratulating him and wishing him a successful and smooth transition from his role at BSMS.
Also, you may have seen that this week we have opened the one year extension application process. The ACCEA Secretariat have worked very well with the DHSC digital publishing team to put together a simple 5 minute webform for award holders to complete. This will allow us to confirm they remain eligible for their award and that they wish for it to be extended. We are emailing each award holder the link as well as publicising it, but please do publicise this to award holders you know directly and via your subcommittees. So far, over 150 award holders have completed the form, which is a most impressive response in the first day.
Although the 2020 [new] award round remains suspended we expect it will be very difficult to recommence any process within the 2020 timescale, so continue to evaluate the best way to compensate for the loss of the 2020 round and mitigate its impact in 2021 from both an equity and financial perspective. We are putting together our submission to the minister to cover this scenario. This submission should include our proposals for the reform consultation also as our meeting on that topic was deferred due to the pandemic. As previously mentioned we hope to launch the consultation later in 2020 and any new scheme in 2022 in line with the expected changes to local awards / introduction of ‘performance pay’.
As we plan for our mitigation activities later this year and for 2021, we are mindful that the next award round will most likely have a higher number of new applicants and double the usual number of renewals. We are thus closely looking at subcommittee scorer numbers to ensure that subcommittees can cope with higher numbers of applications and are considering ways to more flexibly manage scorer groups based on workload. It will however be imperative that as many subcommittee members actively score as possible. We are looking at opportunities for training sessions before the next round opens and recruiting new scorers where possible; maintaining our focus on ensuring that subcommittee diversity represents the wider population.
You may remember we discussed involving subcommittees in some of the specific planning for the reform work. We had suggested this would occur as focus groups during the 2020 scoring governance meetings, so are now considering alternative options for this. As we refine these plans, we will of course keep you informed.
As ever please do let me or any of the secretariat know if you have any comments or questions as we navigate these unusual times. I wish everyone a pleasant weekend and for those colleagues working within the NHS and allied essential areas, our grateful thanks and appreciation for your dedication to your work and our best wishes to you all to stay safe.
Dr Stuart Dollow
Chair, Advisory Committee on Clinical Excellence Awards